I don't suppose the nearly complete blanketing of Alberta would be related to the information in this report from Environmental Defence. Go have a look at the report and try to guess why the Conservative government is so eager to put off any sort of environmental protection or limits. Here are a few snippets from the report:
"The Tar Sands are now the biggest capital project anywhere on Earth and the biggest energy undertaking anywhere. Already, Canada is the largest foreign supplier of US oil.
With the Tar Sands, Canada has become the world’s dirty energy superpower."
"In the muted language of experts, independent scientists are scornful of the monitoring programs: “As typical of previous RAMP reports, changes in methods and means of reporting undermine the utility of the results... The result is the appearance of monitoring and management of environmental concerns in the public interest. The reality is a lack of timely publicly available information and the perpetuation of business as usual,” says Dr. Kevin Timoney following a review.
Dr. Peter Hodson of Queen’s University, a specialist in the toxic impacts of oil on aquatic ecosystems, concurs: "If you read the actual monitoring reports that have been published since 2001 ... they are pretty fractured, they are very, very difficult to read, very difficult to understand what people have actually done and what they've actually found. And so I think ... you’d be hard pressed to say the current monitoring effort is sufficient to answer the questions that have been raised.”
Downstream First Nations are more blunt. The Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan have pulled out of the industry-driven process. “[It’s] a parking lot where everything, all the major issues, are placed. Meanwhile, approvals [for new Tar Sands projects] are given," says Mikisew spokesperson Sherwin Sheh."
"There is no monitoring at all of the toxic chemicals travelling through groundwater. This, despite the fact that, as Canada’s National Energy Board has said, groundwater is the most obvious pathway for Tar Sands poisons to travel throughout the environment and into the major waterways."
"Consider the liabilities cost to the taxpayer just of the relatively small Sydney Tar Ponds, in which 31 hectares were poisoned by 700,000 metric tonnes of contaminated sediments. Government recently committed $400 million in taxpayers’ dollars to a cleanup. Contrast these 31 hectares with Canada’s Tar Sands where the tailings ponds alone already cover more than 5,000 hectares and grow with every passing moment."
And this detailed report, with stunning images of devastation, goes on for some 26 pages. Absolutely fucking disgusting and a crime against Canada's people, our land, water and air. A crime that will seep throughout the environment both here and abroad, spreading toxins and sowing disease. There is nearly no way to mitigate this devastation considering the monstrous scale. Exxon salutes you Prime Minister Harper, Minister Baird and all the representatives of the petrodollar currently squatting in our house of Parliament. The true north stained by greed.