It seems preposterous to most Canadians that outrageous amounts of environmental and social damage is being caused by the tar sands, yet most of the oil produced does not benefit Canada. Seventy per cent of the oil from the tar sands is piped directly to the United States, which sees Alberta as a “secure” source, compared to oil which comes from more politically volatile areas of the world.
Syncrude tar sands plant and night traffic.
Having this “secure” source means that Americans are not motivated to choose fuel-efficient vehicles, and not required to change any of their transportation or consumption habits. But it also means that Canada will be depleting its entire stock of a non-renewable resource in one fell swoop. In addition to using huge amounts of water and energy just to extract the tar sands, once all the reserves in Alberta have been exhausted, there will be no oil left for future generations to use.