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Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Tuesday Video II: “Dirty Oil”

Finally: A documentary about Alberta’s pollution delivery system. The cosmic open pit mines up north produce vast quantities of oil from tar sands and they’ve made Canada the top foreign supplier to America. In fact, the province is the second-largest storehouse in the world, next to Saudia Arabia. Reserves in Alberta alone hold 173 billion barrels, 96 percent of Canada’s oil exports. The oil is low quality, and the process (watch here) of extracting from the sands to meet refineries needs produces as much carbon dioxide as 6 million cars annually. (Three times conventional drilling.) Those emission numbers still belie the full damage when you imagine what the toxicity of open pit mining itself has done to the ecosystem where green wilderness has turned to bubbling black goop.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper once described it as “an enterprise of epic proportions, akin to the building of the pyramids or China’s Great Wall. Only bigger.” But at what cost?




Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.