I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tar Sands and The Environment

The oil sands don't need another environmental headache but they're getting one, courtesy of concerns about the possible extinction of caribou.  A major environmental group, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, is calling on Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach to set aside from development more than half the area in and around the oil sands to prevent the region's dwindling caribou herds from being wiped out.  In a letter to the Premier on Monday, the group said placing large parts of bitumen-rich northeastern Alberta off-limits to development would help the province repair some of the damage the oil sands have inflicted on its global image.
Canada risks becoming the international poster child of unsound resource development if it doesn't do a better job of developing the oil sands, federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice says.  He told a Calgary business audience Monday that the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper supports continued expansion of the oil sands, but that large energy companies need to do more as Canada seeks to reach its targets under the Copenhagen climate change accord.
Preventing more quick development of  Alberta tar sands would not only save habitat for caribou, it would help slow Canada's greenhouse gas emissions.  Sounds like a good idea to me....

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