Before you go and complain about the oil sands and how they are supposedly terrible for the environment, you should do your research.
There are many environmental issues in this world and you shouldn’t blame it all on the development of oil sands. When in reality, the oil sands do more for the environment than most people know.
Most greenhouse gas emissions come from cars, not the oil sands.
“Final combustion of gasoline emerging from your tailpipe accounts for approximately 70 per cent to 80 per cent of well-to-wheel life cycle emissions,” said on the Natural Resources Canada website.
Greenhouse gasses are emitted in the extraction phase of the crude oil production process, but majority of the total greenhouse gas emissions come from a vehicles tailpipe.
There will soon be new regulations that can also further reduce emissions.
The Government of Alberta released a new climate leadership plan on Nov. 22, 2015.
This plan will have Alberta phase out coal emissions by 2030, offer incentives for renewable generation, implement an economy-wide carbon price, legislate a cap on oil sands emissions, implement a new methane emissions reduction plan, and implement an energy efficiency program.
If you really care about greenhouse gas emissions, then stop driving gas powered vehicles. If you are not trying to find new ways to power your vehicles, or heat your houses, and if you still depend on fuel to survive, don’t criticize the oil field for doing their job.
Oil sands industries also have procedures they have to do for the environment.
In the Oil sands, land must be re-claimed after the project is finished.
“The Government of Alberta requires that companies remediate and reclaim 100 per cent of the land after the oil sands have been extracted,” said the Natural Resources Canada website.
Reclamation of land means to return the land to a self-sustaining ecosystem with local vegetation and wildlife.
Even before the land is touched by the oil sands industries, they have to do a complete evaluation to identify potential environmental impacts during the drilling, and steps are taken during the process to minimize any negative effects.
According to the Natural Resources Canada website, “Oil sands companies must file project application, keep it current, and post financial security bonds for reclamation.”
This shows that the Alberta Government and the oil sands companies do everything they can to keep the environment, wildlife, and land safe.
“In the oil sands area, the Government of Alberta has committed to conserving and protecting more than two million hectares of habitat for native species,” said the Natural Resources Canada website.
The oil sands water usage is also closely monitored and almost all of the water in the oil sands is recycled.
“The Athabasca River Water Management Framework ensures annual withdrawals by oil sands companies never exceed three per cent of the Athabasca River flow,” said the Natural Recourses Canada website.
The Athabasca River is the primary source of fresh water to the oil sands in Alberta. The river is also one of the most intensely monitored bodies of water in the world, with ongoing analysis to ensure the water quality and flow rates are not compromised by industrial operations, according to the website, Canada’s Oil Sands.
The oil sands mining operations in Alberta recycles 80 per cent of the water they use, according to the website, Natural Recourses Canada.
The water in the oil sands in-situ operations is recycled approximately 94 per cent for in-situ recovery, according to the website Natural Recourses Canada.
With this being said, the oil sands do care about the environment and the industry takes many precautions before and after the oil sands projects to make sure the environment does not have any negative effects.
There are much bigger environmental issues than what happens in the oil sands, such as water shortages, water pollution, land pollution, and endangering species.
If you truly care about the environment, then do whatever you possibly can in your own home. Don’t waste food, recycle, conserve water, compost, buy eco-friendly products, and try to use your vehicle less.
Unless you’re doing everything you can for the environment, like the oil sands are doing, then you have no reason to be criticizing the industry, especially since the product they produce is used every day by majority of the world.