After spending several days this week touring tar sands developments in Alberta and meeting with both tar sands advocates from the oil industry and opponents of the project, Avatar director James Cameron has called for a halt to Canada's tar sands oil development.
"It is clear that a healthy future for all of us hinges on moving off oil as quickly as possible,” said Cameron. “Given the significant negative impact of the Alberta tar sands on the environment and First Nations communities, the last thing President Obama should be approving is yet another pipeline to pump this muck into the United States. Rather than allow TransCanada to build their Keystone XL pipeline across six states, Obama should support investments that move us aggressively towards a new energy future."
While conventional crude oil is typically extracted from the earth by drilling oil wells into a petroleum reservoir and allowing the oil to flow into the wells through natural pressures, the sands in the tar sands oil must be extracted through strip mining and requires a tremendous amount of water and energy during the process. Sierra Club calls tar sands oil the dirtiest, most toxic oil on earth.
"James Cameron's film Avatar touched millions of people with its message about destruction of communities in the reckless pursuit of profit. Sadly, we are watching a real-life Avatar story play out as the oil industry pushes forward with tar sands oil, a project that leaves sickness, pollution and devastation in its wake," said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. "America still has a chance to stop the tar sands from expanding. The Obama administration needs to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline. This project would pipe the world's dirtiest oil right into American communities, threatening our water, air, and health."
U.S. residents can visit www.sierraclub.org/tarsands to send a message to federal leaders letting them know that "Toxic Tar Sands Oil is Not Part of America's Clean Energy Future." For additional information visit www.avatarsands.org.
Photo credit: dirtyoilsands.org