Comments:Robair: I call bullshit.
Zipperfish: That said, I think the water quality picture has been exaggerated by oil sands opponents. I was quite surprsied myself, when I devled into a couple of studies, how small downstream impacts have been. I'd say BC has the bigger problem with the southeast coal block than the oil sands have.
The biggest impacts at this point are probably wildlife impacts due to the spatial extent of impacted area. There was an issue with water withdrawn from the Athabasca River and its tributaries as well. Not sure if that's been addressed. Hopefully they've stopped injecting freshwater into the ground. Then there's the GHG issue. The oil sands requrie a lot of energy to operate and also make products that will add to the current atmospheric CO2 levels. Add to that the thermodynamic efficinecy argument--that, in many cases, they burn close to a barrel's worth of oil to get a barrel of oil. And then tehre's the ongoing low-probability high-consequence risk of failure of a major tailings lake.
Robair: I will not move there.
Me neither. And the money is prety good. Mind you I live in Vancouver, so I'm already in paradise.
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