Canada’s Oil Sands Aren’t as Bad as You Think

Canada’s Oil Sands Aren’t as Bad as You Think

Oil sands are found all over the world, including Venezuela, the U.S., Russia, and Canada. Canada is one of the largest oil producers in the world, with oil sands reserves so vast they could produce much more energy for other parts of the world than they do today. However, unfortunately, because of climate change politics, they do not. According to, “Alberta’s oil sands’ proven reserves equal about 165.4 billion barrels." 


What Are Oil Sands?  

Oil sands are a mixture of sand, water, and bitumen (heavy or thick oil that cannot flow independently).  


Why What’s Happening in Calgary, Canada Should Matter to Everyone  

Canada is a country living a potentially tragic story of climate politics with important messages for people everywhere. The Canadian oil sands are located in the province of Alberta in Western Canada. The city of Calgary is also located in the province of Alberta. It has just over 1.5 million people and is the center of Canada’s energy industry. Today, it lives under the influence of climate policies like many other cities in the world. Canada is implementing aggressive environmental policies that have closed much of the traditional energy industry. Billions of dollars of investment have been left behind, and industrial stagnation has wiped out thousands of jobs.  

“Global Warning” is a film about climate change politics that presents information from various speakers who provide a warning about the impacts climate change policies will have on people’s lives. As people around the world continue to be affected by climate change politics, getting accurate, important information to them is becoming increasingly important. Few people know that during the production process, the oil sands “tailings” in Canada are pumped with carbon dioxide before they are put into tailing ponds. This process gives the tailings a pH of around 7, which is about the same as river water. Though the tailings are not safe to drink, they are similar in pH to a puddle of mud. What people do not understand is that the processes that are involved in removing the sticky bitumen and leaving behind clean, white sand beaches are already addressing many of the environmental issues complained about in mainstream media.  

One of the pros of developing more of the Canadian oil sands is that they are a very large supply. They are economically recoverable at today’s oil prices, and more production will help keep oil prices relatively low for more people, possibly even for people in many other parts of the world. The oil sands also have enormous growth potential because less than 5% have been produced and technologies have been developed and continue to be developed so production is done in an environmentally responsible manner. They are also the biggest economic driver in Alberta and create good jobs for many people and economic prosperity for people across Canada. Taking oil sands away will take away those jobs from many people and destroy a key contributor to Canada’s economy. This could also happen in other parts of the world!  

“Global Warning” offers a much-needed balanced approach to the climate change debate. The Director, Mathew Embry, was able to get unprecedented access to the Alberta Oil Sands, and he takes us to them in the film and shows us what really happens.  


Ariana Richard
By: Ariana Richard, Director of Public Relations, The GCMG Agency
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