Alberta Oil Sands

Dao-Brendan

The Alberta Oil Sands

Almost all of of Canada's oil sands are found in Alberta. 21% of the land in Alberta are developed into mining sites. The oil sands industry in Alberta has been increasing at a very fast pace and as a result, its impact has been affecting the people and environment negatively.
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Health Impact OF The Oil Sands

The oil sands mining poses health risks to the people living near the mining sites. It creates a chemical called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This chemical is released into the air whenever oil sands are mined. When people breath in this chemical, it gives them a higher risk of developing cancer.
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Enviromental Impacts Of The Oil Sands

There are many environmental impacts created by oil sands mining. All mining sites have tailing ponds. Tailing ponds are used to store the waste from oil sands mining. The waste is toxic. When the waste overflow into the area and rivers around it, it kills the plants and animals. Another environmental impact is on the water consumption. Alberta uses a lot of water for mining oil sands. It takes two to four barrels of water to make one barrel of oil. The mining companies use more water than the entire city of Calgary for oil sands projects. Alberta needs to figure out and balance how much water they use in oil sand projects and for the people of Alberta. The oil sands companies use so much water that there might not be enough water for all the people in Alberta to use.
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Different Perspectives On The Oil Sands

Oil sands mining creates many jobs in Alberta and it is good for Canada's economy. It also has a huge impact on the environment. We should find different and better ways to mine in order for the people to keep their jobs and the environment to be safe. There is so much leftover waste from drilling oil sands and the companies dump all the waste into tailing ponds. As mentioned above, the tailing ponds affect the environment and people's health. Nancy Groucher, an environment activist, traveled to Fort McMurray in 2010 to find out how oil sands impact us. When she looked at the tailing ponds, she said they looked more like lakes then then ponds. She saw some ducks landing on the tailing ponds and the ducks eventually died because the water was very contaminated .She also saw that there was water mixed with chemicals in the tailing ponds. The waste makes the ponds so polluted that they had to store the waste in toxic sludge pits. I think the Government of Alberta has to step in and put up regulations to control the oil sands mining so that the people and wildlife living in Alberta will be safe.

My Plan Of Action

My plan of action is to write a letter to an oil sand company and tell them how they are damaging the environment. I hope they will try be more responsible and take steps to lessen the damages to the environment. I will get students from my school to sign the letter too. This will tell the oil sand company how many students know what they are doing and how the students want to help save the environment. I think the community can help by talking about the bad impacts oil sands on social media and how they damage and affect the environment. This will put pressure on the oil sand companies to do something about it. One of the long term goals of the Government of Alberta is to change the way we think about energy consumption. We have to think not just how the way we use energy affect ourselves but also how it affects the entire world, including the wildlife. The Alberta Energy Regulator, an organization created by the Government of Alberta, keeps track of the activities of oil sands companies and it makes regulations to help the people and environment to be safe.

Which Organization Is Adressing My Topic

The Pembina Institute is a organization that helps the issues. They try to address the oil sands problems in Alberta by having a limited of oil sands development. They also try shrink the footprint of the oil sands development for each barrel produced. They make sure the the oil sands companies are doing whatever possible to support the clean energy future of Canada.
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Maps On The Oil Sands In Alberta

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This is a map of Alberta.The 3 areas that are orange.Those are the 3 places with the most oil sands in Alberta.The first area with the most oil sands is the Athabasca Oil Sands. The second place is Cols Lake Oil Sands and the last area is Peace River Oil Sands.

My Bibliography

http://environmentaldefence.ca/blog/altered-perspective-impact-tar-sands-canada%E2%80%99s-waterhttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/environmental-health-risks-of-alberta-oilsands-probably-underestimated-study/article16667569/http://www.resilience.org/stories/2009-09-22/environmental-impacts-oil-sands-development-albertahttp://environmentaldefence.ca/blog/altered-perspective-impact-tar-sands-canada%E2%80%99s-waterhttp://www.pembina.org/http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/