The enormous negative impacts of tar sands development – to the climate, the environment, and communities – has sparked unprecedented opposition from millions of people in North America and around the world. While it includes environmental organizations who've been working for years, today the movement includes scientists, Nobel laureates, women’s groups, First Nations, landowners, ranchers, and politicians.
In short, we have become one of the biggest social movements of our time.
Tar sands campaigns are focused on stopping pipelines and other infrastructure, getting regions and companies to commit to get tar sands out of their fuel supply and investments, and campaigns going to the source to stop further expansion in Alberta.
Pipelines and infrastructure
The rapid expansion of tar sands development, which is set to triple by 2030, has created a mad rush to build a web of more and bigger pipelines across North America to export tar sands oil to Europe and Asia. Opponents are working hard to ensure that massive investments in new pipelines, oil terminals and supertankers do not lock us into another century of dirty oil consumption.
The greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, transportation and combustion of tar sands oil will push us over the edge toward catastrophic climate change, and the inevitable pipeline leaks and tanker spills of harmful tar sands crude put people, communities and ecosystems at risk wherever they carry their dangerous cargo.
Tar Sands Free
It's becoming widely known that oil from Canada's tar sands is more destructive, polluting, and carbon intensive than nearly all other energy sources. That's why a growing number of universities, churches, city and municipal governments and some of North America’s largest socially responsible corporations have joined a series of campaigns to get tar sands out of their fuel supply, or divest from oil companies whose core business model will lead to the destruction of the earth's climate.
From Seattle, Washington to Burlington, Vermont to the entire European Community, institutions, companies and progressive governments understand the serious problems with producing, transporting and using tar sands oil and how that stands in the way of climate progress.
Stopping tar sands expansion
Tar sands development is massive and growing at an unbelivable pace. More than 100 projects are active with 100 more in the works, as the oil industry implements it plan to destroy an area the size of Florida and triple oil production by 2030. If these expansion plans are realized, they will destabilize the global climate, further devastate First Nations people and their traditional lands, pollute land and water, and lock us into a fossil fuel based future that will undermine Canada's economic diversity and well-being.
That's why First Nations, environmentalists and a growing collection of scientists, politicians and community leaders have stood up to stop the expansion of Alberta's tar sands and encourage Canadians to invest in the economic and employment benefits of a clean energy economy.
As this section illustrates, people are working together to stop the growth of the tar sands industry and build a better, cleaner, saner future. What many people may not realize is that we are making progress faster than anyone could have hoped, and on the horizon is a world in which our children can live Tar Sands Free.