Tar sands facility in Alberta, Canada

This is not our vision for a clean-energy economy

Canada's tar sands

Tar sands development in Alberta: You have to see it to believe it


Once a pristine forest and watershed, the Athabasca River Valley in Alberta has been permanently damaged by the energy-intensive practice of squeezing tar sands oil out of sludge beneath Canada's Boreal forest. Elevated levels of rare cancers have appeared in communities downstream from lakes of toxic waste created to capture water contaminated by heavy tar sands oil processing. While big oil companies reap incredible profits from this tarry black gold, communities, forests, and our climate pay a staggering cost.

Developing Canada’s tar sands harms local communities in many ways, from extraction pollution, to refinery pollution, to pipeline and tanker disasters that scar the environment. ForestEthics informs and mobilizes people who stand against more tar sands pipelines--like those proposed by Kinder Morgan and Enbridge--and dramatic increases to tanker traffic along North America’s stunning Pacific coast. See tar sands tanker traffic in real time at http://tarsandssos.org.

ForestEthics Advocacy also demands that Canadians are able speak out about the issues that impact them, like clean air, fresh water, thriving forests and climate stability. Right now, we're standing up for the rights of Canadians to participate in National Energy Board hearings for new pipelines and tanker proposals. Prime Minister Harper’s administration has squelched healthy democratic participation in these hearings. So, represented by civil rights and constitutional lawyer, Clayton Ruby, C.M., ForestEthics Advocacy has filed a lawsuit against the federal government of Canada and the National Energy Board.

In Canada, we’re deeply committed to fighting tar sands oil at the local, provincial, and national level from organizing town hall lectures in British Columbia, to challenging the Harper Government in court.

Latest News

Lawsuit challenges restrictions on public input on energy projects
Amid the stalemate of international agreements, it appears as if Canada turned to more bilateral talks on a piece of a free-trade agreement, namely investor protection. Appearing as blips in the news cycle, the Canadian government signed a number of Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (FIPA) – “bilateral agreements aimed at protecting and promoting foreign investment through legally-binding rights and obligations,” In the past couple of years, Canada has signed these agreements with countries such as Benin, Tanzania, and Latvia. In looking at the list of country agreements, it appears as if these deals are mostly set to protect Canadian corporate interests abroad (mostly mining) and provide a legal framework for disputes.
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Learn more about Canada's Tar Sands

The Issue

Tar sands development could devastate beautiful, ecologically important landscapes and waterways read more...

The Facts

Processing tar sands sludge requires enough natural gas in one day to heat 3 million homes...and other startling facts about this damaging energy project read more...

The Solutions

The environmental repercussions of Tar Sands points to one solution: we need to stop the accelerating development of Tar Sands projects read more...

Go to tarsandssos.org

Learn more about ForestEthics Advocacy's lawsuit