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Oil Sands Much Cleaner Than Advertised?!


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#31 avelanch

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:03 AM

don't you mean flown?

piloted?

#32 avelanch

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:08 AM

I bet that source is magically delicious too.

absolutely!

#33 bjh

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:28 AM

rainbows? they provide jobs for leprechauns and an influx of revenue (capital gains taxes on whole pots of gold) for the government. it's win-win.


L O L
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#34 avelanch

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:41 AM

L O L

leprechaun unemployment is at an all time high, overbreeding has created too many of them and not enough rainbows to go around. I expect it to be one of the major issues in this year's presidential campaign.

#35 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:10 AM

Last time I checked, Greenpeace is not affiliated with the Fraser Institute in any way, and I don't see why you should wait on the other guy. Just because Greenpeace is an eco-terrorist group doesn't make the Fraser Institute any better or worse.

Also, I don't remember the last time I saw someone start a topic with a Greenpeace article is his/her arguing point. Both them and the Fraser Institute are really only good for getting some general ideas. You'll notice an absence of any hard, unbiased facts. In other words, both are crap organizations that I avoid.


Haven't you learned that on CDC, the most (presumably - it's so common) effective method right wingers have is pointing out how bad the "other side" is? This is exactly par for the course. :sadno:

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Father (Peace be upon You) Satan (Peace be upon You), I call to you (Peace be upon You) from the deepest parts of my heart, I praise your (Peace be upon You) name with every breath of my body, I worship you (Peace be upon You) with every fiber of my being. You (Peace be upon You) shown me what true strength is. You (Peace be upon You) have shown me what true love is. Out of the darkness you (Peace be upon You) came to show me the true light.


My master (Peace be upon You), my father (Peace be upon You) and my friend (Peace be upon You) what a great gift that is.


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#36 ronthecivil

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:30 AM

Haven't you learned that on CDC, the most (presumably - it's so common) effective method right wingers have is pointing out how bad the "other side" is? This is exactly par for the course. :sadno:


Demonising people with opposing viewpoints is common feature of every poltical discussion in every country and every culture.

Since ever.

But go ahead and feel superior!

#37 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:38 AM

Demonising people with opposing viewpoints is common feature of every poltical discussion in every country and every culture.

Since ever.

But go ahead and feel superior!


I do, because I don't resort to such low, lame tactics. Just as I feel superior to people who lie, cheat, misrepresent, etc. Nothing wrong with feeling superior. Now if I was demonstrably wrong... of course you know I'm demonstrably right. :lol:

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Father (Peace be upon You) Satan (Peace be upon You), I call to you (Peace be upon You) from the deepest parts of my heart, I praise your (Peace be upon You) name with every breath of my body, I worship you (Peace be upon You) with every fiber of my being. You (Peace be upon You) shown me what true strength is. You (Peace be upon You) have shown me what true love is. Out of the darkness you (Peace be upon You) came to show me the true light.


My master (Peace be upon You), my father (Peace be upon You) and my friend (Peace be upon You) what a great gift that is.


Posted Image Hail to the King (PBUH)! Posted Image


#38 taxi

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:56 AM

I certainly don't mind Libertarianism, but regardless of their political stances and how often they agree with mine, I don't like propaganda. It's clear their publishing isn't helping anyone lead to a better understanding of the issues quoted by D-Money, it's fixing information to fit a pre-conceived ideology and that is counter-productive to the goal of studying, not to mention a sham.


This isn't propaganda any more than anything produced by any organization with a political agenda. The Fraser Institute makes no secret of the fact they are against government regulation. Their research is going to reflect that. I really don't see how they are fixing information. If you can point to a specific instance where they have done that, it woud help your argument a whole lot. Just randomly accusing them of that for pushing their political agenda is a bit absurd.

Given the whole "climategate" scandal on this same issue, I don't know how you can call out the Fraser Institute for fixing information.

#39 ronthecivil

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 10:03 AM

This isn't propaganda any more than anything produced by any organization with a political agenda. The Fraser Institute makes no secret of the fact they are against government regulation. Their research is going to reflect that. I really don't see how they are fixing information. If you can point to a specific instance where they have done that, it woud help your argument a whole lot. Just randomly accusing them of that for pushing their political agenda is a bit absurd.

Given the whole "climategate" scandal on this same issue, I don't know how you can call out the Fraser Institute for fixing information.


It doesn't take a rocket scientologist to see that the oil sands are pretty dirty. Not as dirty as the enviro groups make them seem (they have had to follow Canadian enviromental laws under both Liberal and Conservative admins) nor as pristine as the oil company and their supporters advertising.

However, as much as Mr. Muclaire may think it's destroying eastern business (ineffecientcy does that on it's own) it's still the primary reason the countries national (and several provincial) budgets and economies are not in the tank......

#40 canuckster19

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

leprechaun unemployment is at an all time high, overbreeding has created too many of them and not enough rainbows to go around. I expect it to be one of the major issues in this year's presidential campaign.


I think it started going downhill when they unfrosted Lucky Charms, stuff tastes like crap now.
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#41 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 04:46 PM



The Canadian Oil Sand Mines Refused Us Access, So We Rented This Plane To See What They Were Up To



Robert Johnson | May 18, 2012, 10:03 AM



When reaching out to Alberta oil sands companies before a trip to Canada last month, I thought all of them mined oil the same way — they don't.

The open mining most people think of when they picture the oil sands is just one way of extracting crude from the ground, but it is without a doubt the most dramatic. And we had to see it.
Check out the pictures >
After being refused a mine tour and any type of access to a mining site or equipment, Business Insider rented a plane that I used to see everything I could of the mines on my own.
Restricted to flying no lower than 1,000 feet above the ground, I spent nearly two hours leaning out the window of a small Cessna 172 with a long lens, snapping pictures and trying to keep warm.
The oil sands hold up to two trillion barrels of oil spread over more than 54,000 square miles, making it the second largest oil deposit in the world after Saudi Arabia.
The amount of energy spent recovering that oil and the pollution created in refining it is immense and the impact on the environment profound.
Check out the pictures >
Limiting that impact is important as oil companies are required by law to return the land to its original condition when they're done mining, but the amount of time required to do that has long been criticized.
Today's environmental focus at the mining companies is figuring out how to get the land back to its original state more quickly and efficiently.
And that is something that everyone who lives and works near the oil sands would be happy to see.
It used to be that people would come to work the mines for a couple of years and go back where they came from, but that is changing as people put down roots and raise their children and grandchildren.
About 140,000 people are involved in working the oil sands, with 100,000 more jobs expected in the next five years.
So, no matter how you feel about the oil sands or the burning of all that oil, you can be sure that as long as there's a market for it and people need jobs, the oil companies aren't going anywhere.
I also need to extend a sincere thanks to former oil sands worker Mike Pearson whose experience and insight proved invaluable.
Still coming up in our Alberta oil sands series will be an inside look at the local lumber mill and timber industry, an interview with Greenpeace who shut a mine down in 2009, and a tour of the Syncrude research facility in Edmonton, and a tour of Fort McMurray.
More pictures of our oil sands trip can be found here on Flickr.




To get a look at the oil sand mines we rented this Cessna 172 which the pilot was allowed to bring down to 1,000 feet — from there, through the open window and with a long lens we were able to see what really goes on in one of the most controversial places on the planet



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The Alberta oil sands are spread across more than 54,000 square miles but we're taking a look at just a small part of that — the red line is an approximate outline of the entire deposit — the green is where we'll be flying



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Google Maps




Most of the Athabasca oil sands lie just north of Fort McMurray — the small city is bordered on the east by Rt 63 — the Clearwater River to the west and the south— and the Athabasca River to the north



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




A lot of the oil money stops here first — this is Suncor Oil's recently remodeled $180 million Community Leisure Center — it's set to receive another $117 million expansion in September 2012



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Housing is tough to find, and expensive, averaging about $770,000 — the newly built apartments at the top were abruptly condemned forcing police to evict tenants without their belongings one night last winter



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




And it gets cold here — down to -50 F in the dead of winter with just a few hours of real daylight — this spot costs $1,400 a month to rent without the insulated camper



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




But thousands flock here to make real money in the oil sands — where creating synthetic crude begins in the strip mine



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




This is how the oil sands have been harvested since 1967



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




There were only two companies working the sands in 1998 and local officials were concerned even those would be forced to close — there are more than 10 times that number here now



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




That's because in the late '90s oil prices rose, the Canadian government restructured its royalty system, and new technology caused a huge boom



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




From small companies to conglomerates like Shell — each outfit starts off the same way



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




First they clear the trees from the land



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Then they scrape away the shallow layer of leafy, peaty topsoil called muskeg



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Then the trucks and shovels come in to scoop up the oil sand— that shovel is electric, runs on 15,000 volts — and scoops up 90 tons in one load — it takes about 2.5 tons of sand to produce one barrel of oil



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The Cat 797 dump trucks are the largest in the world and and can haul 1 million pounds in a single load — more weight than a fully loaded Boeing 747



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




They're so large people say they can drive over a Ford F-150 like it's a 'speed bump' — with this shot from outside a mechanic's shop it's easy to see what they mean



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




And the dump trucks are everywhere out here



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Carrying the chunks of oil sand



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Often across bridges like these, which are supposed to be the strongest in the world



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




To crushing plants like this, which break up the chunks into a fine mixture that can be transported along the conveyor belts below



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The conveyors take the sand to be conditioned — the first step in separating it from the oil



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Conditioning is just mixing the oil sand with water — creating what's called a slurry — where the oil begins to part from the sand



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The slurry is then piped to containers where it separates into three parts: Oil froth on top — sand on the bottom — oil, sand, clay, and water in the middle



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The sand and water mixture in the middle is pumped to open storage areas called tailings ponds



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The ponds are vast and some look more like lakes



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Most ponds are coated in a sheen of oil that can be deadly to waterfowl, like ducks and geese, that land on its surface



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




To help keep birds away scarecrows like this are all over the ponds



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The ponds are used to settle out the solids in the oil-water mix as they slowly fall to the bottom — the chemicals and oil float to the top



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The surface chemicals are skimmed across the surface using floating lines like those used in oil spills



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




To give an idea of the size — that dump truck passing the pond is 50-feet-long



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




This is what one pond looks like on the ground



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




And this is what the surface material looks like up close



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




After it's skimmed and the surface water is relatively sediment and chemical free — it's pumped from one pond to another



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




This clarified water is supposed to provide 90 percent of what the oil companies need to start all over again



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The solids left behind will be used to reclaim the land as the operation moves on



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




As the sand finally dries it turns white — sound cannons still boom to scare birds away though — especially after a 2010 incident where hundreds of ducks landed on a roadside pond and died



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Oil companies are required to return the land to its original condition and this reclaimed section, populated with Wood Bison, is not far from the pond



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




It looks a whole lot different on this side



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Once the rough oil is pulled from the sand it will get sent to an 'upgrader' like Suncor's here on the Athabasca River— this is one of the sites where the oil from the oil sands is converted into synthetic crude



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider


CBC Link



This is done by heating the raw oil, called bitumen, in a process called coking and produces the smoke that hovers about the whole area and a smell that fills the cockpit of the plane



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Here are some small piles of coke



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




And here is one very immense pile of coke waiting to be used or sold as fuel for smelting iron



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




After it's coked, the oil is 'cracked' to break the heavy parts down into lighter more desirable petroleum products



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Cracked, coked and lighter, what's left gets sent to a tower like this, where inside it's hotter at the top than the bottom, forcing dense material down and lighter petroleum products up



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Then everything is exposed to hot, high pressure gas that removes even more impurities like sulfur



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




The sulfur would normally then be sold



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




But a glut in the sulfur market is keeping prices low, and in the meantime mountains of it continue to grow



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Once the oil is "upgraded" it will go to a storage tank like this one currently under construction



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




This is Syncrude's Mildred Lake plant along Route 63



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Route 63 is deadly, and a family of 7 was killed driving it the day I got there — this memorial is right across from Syncrude by the side of the road — after taking this photo Syncrude security was dispatched and told me to go



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider


Edited by Scorpio Ego, 19 May 2012 - 04:47 PM.

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Father (Peace be upon You) Satan (Peace be upon You), I call to you (Peace be upon You) from the deepest parts of my heart, I praise your (Peace be upon You) name with every breath of my body, I worship you (Peace be upon You) with every fiber of my being. You (Peace be upon You) shown me what true strength is. You (Peace be upon You) have shown me what true love is. Out of the darkness you (Peace be upon You) came to show me the true light.


My master (Peace be upon You), my father (Peace be upon You) and my friend (Peace be upon You) what a great gift that is.


Posted Image Hail to the King (PBUH)! Posted Image


#42 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 04:47 PM


Just north of that tribute sit these two machines some companies used in mining up until 2006 — a dragline on the left — and a gray bucketwheel to the right



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



Spectacularly immense, this bucketwheel is the largest crawling machine in existence



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



For scale, that fence post is about six-feet-tall



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



These bucket teeth that dug into the sand were very effective, but when the bucketwheel broke down, mining stopped — so they were phased out in favor of the shovels and trucks



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



There are fleets of trucks and if one breaks down another one simply takes its place, but at $5 to $6 million apiece they are not cheap



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



And they go through tires pretty quickly — the ones for the big dump trucks run about $45,000 apiece



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



At 13-feet — and 12,000 pounds each — the 797 tires are a burden to dispose of and they're put to use wherever they can be



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



To keep vehicles from getting bogged down in the mud, these wooden boards will often be put down



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



But they're not always practical, so a nearby gravel mine pumps out stone to layer the roads



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



The gravel mine produces its own uniquely colored pools of water



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



But they don't compare to the deep orange of this oil sand pit we pass in the plane moments later



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



The companies out here all have their own landfills



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



Though city officials are building a state-of-the-art incinerator as part of their modernization effort



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



Most oil workers live in housing like this and are bussed in to the compound from their homes and families in Fort McMurray



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



There are no public gas stations up by the camps and sadly even this store was closed at noon on a Sunday



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



Which may have been just as well because the bootie dispenser outside the door was empty



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



The average dump truck driver makes about $55 an hour plus overtime working the mines and the average family income here is around $190,000



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



That kind of money prompts many people to settle down and stay far longer than they planned — this is where the pilot lives with his parents — he asked for a photo



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



And just as you would imagine, the people that live here are very concerned about pollution — this site was fined $275,000 for contaminating the Athabasca River just a year ago



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



The provincial government tests the area waters constantly



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



But the locals I talked to all said they'd like to see more transparency and updates on what exactly is being found and what they should watch out for



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



The oil sands, with its up to 2 trillion barrels of oil sitting in the ground, is a complex place



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



And despite how you may feel about the immense environmental impact the oil companies may have on the world



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider



You can be sure they're not going anywhere while there is still oil left to collect



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Robert Johnson — Business Insider




Read more: http://www.businessi...1#ixzz1vMXRkEfb


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Father (Peace be upon You) Satan (Peace be upon You), I call to you (Peace be upon You) from the deepest parts of my heart, I praise your (Peace be upon You) name with every breath of my body, I worship you (Peace be upon You) with every fiber of my being. You (Peace be upon You) shown me what true strength is. You (Peace be upon You) have shown me what true love is. Out of the darkness you (Peace be upon You) came to show me the true light.


My master (Peace be upon You), my father (Peace be upon You) and my friend (Peace be upon You) what a great gift that is.


Posted Image Hail to the King (PBUH)! Posted Image


#43 AJ22

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

I think both sides of the oil sands debate needs to come to the middle a little bit more. The operators can probably take steps to clean up operations while environmentalists can learn a bit more about the industry can spread the good with the bad. Funny how these photos showed absolutely NO reclamation efforts that have been done to date.

Many Canadians, some of my friends included, dislike the oil sands a lot with knowing almost nothing about them besides they are dirty and span great areas. I bet 95% of Canadians cannot find the oil sands on google earth from the map of North America or Canada.

Lots of people hate the oil sands but love to drive their vehicles. People need to learn where the energy they use come from, and if they dislike the sources maybe should look at their uses and begin reducing the demand of crude oil.

Every source of energy has it's downsides, there is no perfect energy. Wind turbines kill birds, run of river projects can effect fish, and nuclear is being disliked after what happened in Japan. Here is a good article on coal energy http://www.boston.co...12/01/coal.html

I think the oil sands have their place but feel that maybe could be cleaned up a bit, while the environmentalists maybe recognize more of the good that the oil sands do do.

#44 22Sedinery33

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 09:57 PM

Oil sands will not be going anywhere anytime soon, we have enough oil in Canada to last us another few hundred years. Until then it will not be replaced, even though many car manufacturers are trying to go green with hybrids and electric vehicles. Truth of the matter is Canada's nuclear technology is very far advanced and everyone else around the world comes to us to gain knowledge of how to harness this energy to power their own cities within their respected countries. Doubtful Canada will try the US method of nuclear powerplants when all the oil is on hand in our own backyard.
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#45 6of1_halfdozenofother

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:27 PM

I love how very few people rightfully point out that when the oil sands companies are done with the extraction process, the land is actually cleaner than when they started. They're always drowned out by the noise that claims the oil companies only go in and wreck the environment, taint the water, strip the land, and leave without cleaning up after themselves - all for a few bucks due to human desire for energy. Oddly enough, those making the noise don't bother to acknowledge that the water was already tainted (from the natural leaching processes of the oil sands), or that the land and water are actually made more pristine after the petroleum is removed from the soil.

No, because the oil companies are earning big bucks off of non-arable land, it must be bad.[/sarcasm]
People who label others as bandwagoners, people who tell other people "how" to cheer for their team, "how" they should act or what they should wear to "support" their team, people who only want to hear positive thoughts and don't want to read about how the team can do better - these are people who are insecure and uncomfortable within their own skin.

I'll support my team the way I choose, thank you very much. You can choose to support your team the way you want to, and I won't judge you on it as long as you don't try to force your beliefs on me. I'll also be quick to point out where I think the team can do better, because identifying that there is a problem is the first step to fixing it; denying or ignoring a problem won't solve anything.

Go Canucks Go.




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