I’ve often thought of the oil sands as an easy target for opponents. It’s relatively localized (the industry is not spread across the continent), there are some great opportunities for photographs, and some of the numbers floating around seem mind-boggling to the general public (this vs. this). I think it’s low-hanging fruit, and it’s being picked on because it’s an easy target.
Don’t get me wrong – the development of the oil sands does have an impact on the environment. How can it not? Is it as bad as some say it is? No, I don’t believe so. Is there room to improve? Yes. Is it a stereotypical “villain”? I’m not so sure…
“Not the Villain”?
Dr. Kunin (briefly) brings up several points that bear discussion, but the three main points revolve around another fossil fuel, coal, the reclamation of open pit oil sand mining, and the reintroduction of wood bison to the Fort McMurray area.
Here’s an excerpt:
“…do you ever hear all the activists who claim to be so concerned about the environment mention coal? I don’t. Instead, they pour all their voices and their vitriol out on the oil sands in Alberta. Yes, oil production in the tar sands is less efficient than more conventional oil production, but industry experts measure the carbon footprint to be only five per cent to 15 per cent higher and not the three times greater that some activists claim…”
It’s a short piece, but a worthwhile read nonetheless.
Read the full article @ Troy Media