We should not be complacent about the impending crisis posed by the increasing expansion of tar sands fuel extraction in Alberta. James Hansen, chief climatologist for NASA, recently stated that it will be “game over for the environment” if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved and these dirty fuels are released into our atmosphere. I say “dirty” not only because they produce 15 to 40 percent more greenhouse gases than conventional oil – but also because of the environmental pillage required to extract them. Tar sands extraction is extremely inefficient, requiring one barrel of energy to harvest every three.
National Geographic describes the process:
“To extract each barrel of oil from a surface mine, the industry must first cut down the forest, then remove an average of two tons of peat and dirt that lie above the oil sands layer, then two tons of the sand itself.”More ›