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Avatar Director Disapproves Of Canadian Oil Sands

Avatar Director Disapproves Of Canadian Oil Sands

Last week, James Cameron made a trip to Canada for a first-hand look at the oil sand operations, which have been called the dirtiest form of energy on the planet.

Although Cameron maintains the “unobtainium” mine featured in the movie was based on an open pit copper mine, many Canadians who saw Avatar immediately compared it to the massive oil sands developments underway in northern Alberta.

Confident that he would emerge with a more positive opinion of the industry, Canadian officials invited Cameron to take a helicopter tour of the region and attend on-the-ground demonstrations hosted by oil company engineers.

Not surprisingly, Cameron’s final opinion was far from approving.

You look down and you see just a vast area of devastation. There’s no other way to put it,” said Cameron in a radio story broadcast on PRI’s THE WORLD.“And you think, how are they ever going to reclaim this and turn it back into the beautiful arboreal forest that was there before. Because that’s the promise that’s been made. Oh, we’ll put this all back. This is only temporary. We’re just going to mine the surface and then we’re going to put in new trees and it’s all going to grow and you won’t even know the difference. Well, unfortunately that’s not what it looks like, that’s not what it feels like.”

Currently, Canada is the United States’ number one source of foreign oil, and the oil sands are responsible for nearly half of Canadian oil production. The oil extracted from the sands is extremely crude, and must be shipped hundreds of miles across the U.S. to refineries before it can even be used.

The Obama administration is considering a proposal to build the Keystone XL Pipeline (also know as the Keystone Gulf Coast Extenstion): a 1,980 mile pipeline that would transport oil sands crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta and deliver it to existing terminals in Nederland, Texas to serve the Port Arthur, Texas oil market.

The recent Michigan oil spill and gas pipeline explosion in California haven’t bolstered public confidence that this infrastructure is safe, and 50 different members of Congress have publicly urged Obama Administration to recognize the Keystone XL Pipeline as a threat to America’s clean energy future.

Cameron feels that more research is needed to fully understand if the benefits of utilizing the tar sands truly outweigh the risks.

What do you think? Is sentencing Canada and the U.S. to 30 more years of filthy oil really worth it?

Sign the petitions!

Tell President Obama to Reject a Pipeline for the World’s Dirtiest Oil
Take action to protect BC’s coast from oil spills

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Image Credit: Flickr - sdtarsandspipeline

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64 comments

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7:02AM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

7:04AM PST on Dec 6, 2011

This is all about the Keystone Pipeline XL which the Republicans are trying THIS WEEK to attach to any bill passed in Congress. We need to storm Congress and the White House with Call and emails NOW.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/bc-first-nations-unite-to-ban-export-of-tar-sands-oil.html#ixzz1flbpfS6o

8:12AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Bad idea born from greed.

5:49PM PDT on May 5, 2011

I am also an Albertan and live approx 250 km from the Oil Sands, so I consider myself lucky to date not to have had any health effects, especially from the rivers as our water comes from Edmonton. I wonder about medical and scientific tests that have been done??

My only other comment is that the Oil Sands is not the dirtiest form of energy...all of a sudden coal is clean???

6:16PM PST on Feb 23, 2011

Yes let use other methods other than oil and in the mean time between oil and using other means to fuel our world lets live in huts and destroy trees to heat our huts and now we are creating another issue smoke. Lets face it this country or any other country will not be able to change to a safe fuel supply for along time, so until that happens people be quit and shut up and eventually we will get to the point when we will not have to depend on oil. Unless you are one of those that like to use leaves to wipe your butt maybe you should move to the mountains away from modern conviences.

10:28AM PDT on Oct 15, 2010

signed. They never put it back. When business puts back after logging they put tiny trees that fall over after a big rain. They don't take any pride in returning the land back to nature. It is a lie from the greedy b's.

9:30PM PDT on Oct 10, 2010

Petition signed. We should support clean energy using solor and wind energy. We must
get away from fossil fuels.

4:23PM PDT on Oct 10, 2010

Please do what you can.We are poisoning fish,we are poisoning the people.

3:37AM PDT on Oct 9, 2010

Just a legacy of puke we are leaving our childern, happy to hear he told it like it is.And another good reason for me to build another solar electric boat and bike.Grow more of my own food, do what yeah can.Do anything and everything you can to Not buy fossil fuels.

10:33PM PDT on Oct 8, 2010

Back here in California orrnvironment is under assault by Texas oilcorporations. Vote this election day for progressive candidayes. Ypu MUST care enough to vote or evil and greed will prevail. ote NOon 23 which destroys our present clean air laws! No on 26 which protects oil and air polluter in California. We must vote to make a differnc and save our environment.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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