21 December 2008

Keep Ban on Oil Sands

The Public Pulse. Sunday World-Herald 144(12): 6B.

Fuel derived from tar-sands in Canada (Dec. 16 Midlands Voices) should have no role in energy resources for the United States. There are simply too many problems from the extraction and shipping process.

The following details are documented by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Boreal Songbird Initiative and Pembina Institute. Consider these specific impacts from tar-sands development given in a report:

  • Loss of forest and wetland habitat due to the projected strip-mining of 740,000 acres of forests and wetlands, leading to the loss of breeding habitat for between 480,000 and 3.6 million adult birds over the next 30-50 years.
  • Mortality of birds that get trapped in the sticky goo of ponds is estimated to range from more than 8,000 birds to well over 100,000.
  • Fragmentation of habitat means particular species disappear as their habitats are destroyed.
  • Water reduction causes the loss of more than 700,000 acres of wetlands
  • Air and water toxins are hazardous to the health of wildlife, as well as to human residents as well.

When habitat is destroyed, there is no other place a pair of birds can consider as a home to raise a brood. The result is a loss of production, leading to a eventual decline in a species’ population.


This is an edited version - due to space limitations - of the submitted comments. The response was written because of this particular sentence in the "Voices" editorial written by a petroleum geologist: "Action has been taken to protect wildlife."

There was no further information provided in the pro-development comments.

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