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Tar sands extraction in northern Alberta | by The Co-op Group
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Tar sands extraction in northern Alberta

Aerial view of chopped down Boreal forest near a tar sands mine north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The Alberta Tar Sands are the largest deposits of their kind in the world and their production is the single largest contributor to Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta's tar sands are currently estimated to contain a crude bitumen resource of 315 billion barrels, with remaining established reserves of almost 174 billion barrels, thus making Canada's oil resources ranked second largest in the world in terms of size.


The industry has brought wealth and an economic boom to the region but also created an environmental disaster downstream from the Athabasca river, polluting the lakes where water and fish are contaminated. The native Indian tribes of the Mikisew, Cree, Dene and other smaller First Nations are seeing their natural habitat destroyed and are largely powerless to stop or slow down the rapid expansion of the oil sands development, Canada's number one economic driver.


jre/Photo by Jiri Rezac / WWF-UK..© Jiri Rezac 2007..Contact: +44 (0) 7050 110 417.Mobile: +44 (0) 7801 337 683.Office: +44 (0) 20 8968 9635..Email:© All images Jiri Rezac 2007 - All rights reserved.

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Taken on May 10, 2007