Environmentalits Against Pipelines!

By: Anastasia Anokye

The Root of the Problem

Oil sands. Open pit mines which span over 1000 acres of land are the reason behind why Canada's reputation is turning for the worst. Plans are being created to expand this business by making pipelines for "easier" and "more efficient" transporting processes. Sure oil brings lots and lots of money to country, but where should we draw the line? When all the animals are suddenly decreasing? When the air is not clean enough to even breathe in anymore? Or when our rivers and streams are all covered in oil and other deadly chemical? We need to draw the line now!

Oil Spill Waiting to Happen

About three million barrels of oil are pumped through the pipelines everyday. For a better picture of how much oil that actually is, 4,200 rail cars and 15,000 truckloads is what would be needed to hold all of that oil, every single day. If a pipeline going over a small body of water were to burst, you could only imagine how horrible the income would be.

Oil running through pipelines also has diluted bitumen and natural gas (dillbit), which is intended to keep the oil afloat if the pipes were to ever burst. The major concern is that dillbit only allows the oil to stay afloat if it isn't disturbed. Strong waves could easily mix the oil with sands and sediments, making the oil sink to the bottom of the water floor.

Oil cleanup is a very expensive and long process, the Kalamazoo oil spill in Michigan being a great example (burst in 2010 and is still being cleaned up). Oil spills are a huge example of pollution, and can wipe out many wildlife species, which can result in overpopulation of some species and decreasing of others.

Greenhouse Gases

Human emitted greenhouse gases are the leading cause of climate change. Climate change makes an imbalance on a lot of aspects in the world like the animal food chain, sickness and disease, and the availability in necessities such as food (agriculture).

The extraction of oil is already so damaging to the atmosphere. Extraction of oil from tar sand gives of 3 to 4 times more greenhouse gas emissions than the traditional crude oil. Imagine all the construction machines and equipment giving off even more toxic fumes. The tailings ponds are also a big reason as to why there are so many fumes being released into the atmosphere. And to top that all off, if lets say, the Keystone project gets the go ahead, the amount of energy needed is unthinkable; it's the equivalent of Americans driving 60 BILLION extra miles per year. 60 BILLION!


Canada is known for its kindness, politeness, and generosity. Sometimes, we forget about ourselves. The oil company's are so focused and overwhelmed over the now. They are so focused on how far we can push this whole oil craze; how much money we can pull out of it. They forget about the future generations to come.

If these pipelines get built, making the impression that Canada has a never ending supply of oil, other countries will use that against Canada to keep their own countries sustainable! They are thinking smart, as we are throwing it around like we don't know it isn't renewable.

There are many ways we can make oil more sustainable than it is being treated right now. We should be finding ways to get as green as possible! We can still use oil, but only the things that are only limited to oil being its source of power.

There is:

  • Wind Energy
  • Solar Energy
  • Geothermal Energy

...which should be used more in efforts to keep oil sustainable for future Canadian generations. We should be using what the world gives us freely more than what we have a limited supply on.

Taking the oil by only the amounts needed will allow nature to adjust. The greenhouse gas emissions won't be as high and the oil sand sites can be downsized so the land that is spared can left for nature.