Pollution of Tar Sands Oil PDF Print E-mail

Tar sands mining releases at least three times the CO2 emissions as regular oil production and is slated to become the single largest industrial contributor in North America to climate change.  A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that toxic elements were found near tar sands mining sites and downstream from them.  The oil sands industry releases the 13 elements considered priority pollutants (PPE) under the US Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act, via air and water, to the Athabasca River and its watershed.  Seven PPE—cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, and zinc exceeded Canada's or Alberta's guidelines for the protection of aquatic life.  Indigenous residents of Fort Chipewyan, who live downstream from the tar sands mines, were found to have elevated rates of cancer by the provincial cancer board.

Refining the thick crude oil produced pollutes both air and water.  A recent report from the University of Toronto's Munk Centre says the massive refinery expansions needed to process tar sands crude, and the new pipeline networks for transporting the fuel, amount to a “pollution delivery system” connecting Alberta to the Great Lakes region of Canada and the U.S.  The various projects, when taken together, threaten to “wipe out many of the pollution control gains” achieved around the lakes since the 1970s.   It will lead to "an exponential increase in pollution, discharges into waterways including the Great Lakes, destruction of wetlands, toxic air emissions, acid rain, and huge increases in greenhouse gas emissions.”


 

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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon

 

steve simon

 

Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at http://mnvotes.org

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016

 


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

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