1. Residents of communities living downstream from tar sands operations are experiencing unusually high rates of rare cancers and auto-immune diseases. Dr. John O'Connor spoke out on the occurrance of rare cancer clusters in the community of Fort Chipewyan.
2. The Alberta tar sands are the fastest growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Thanks to the tar sands, Alberta produces approximately 40% of the country's emissions.
3. Development of the tar sands requires massive clear-cuts of the pristine, biodiverse boreal forest, which acts as a carbon sink.
4. Current tar sands operations are licensed to divert 349 million m3 of water/day from the Athabasca River in Northern Alberta. To produce one barrel of oil requires 2-4 barrels of water.
5. TAILINGS PONDS! Ie. Huge resevoirs of residual bitumen, sand, clay, and carcinogenic chemicals left over from the extraction process. There is currently no feasible reclamation plan to deal with the toxic legacy created by tar sands tailings ponds, and the Alberta government has admitted more than once that tailings ponds DO LEAK and that there have been cases of leakages into the water supply that the affected public were not informed about.
6. WAR. Canada is a net exporter of tar sands oil to the United States, where oil is being used to fuel the wars in Iraq and Afganistan, while Canada imports oil for its own domestic use.
7. Tar Sands operations have destroyed an area the size of Vancouver Island, and with projected growth will increase in size to wipe out an area the size of Florida.
8. The tar sands require massive amounts of energy, mainly natural gas, in the extraction process. We are using up depleting resources to fuel the dirtiest project on earth.
9. Air quality. Tar Sands operations produce enough air pollutants to contribute to acid rain in the western provinces.
10. BIG OIL HOLDS THE PEOPLE OF ALBERTA HOSTAGE- they make the mess, we will be forced to clean it up.