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The Keystone And Energy East Pipelines In Canada

2113 words - 9 pages

The oil sands is a valuable resource collected in the province of Alberta, and are found underground in a mixture of sand and water. The oil is mined in a heavy, sticky form, called bitumen, which requires more challenging extraction techniques than “conventional” oil drilling. Bitumen must be separated from the sand and water. Environmentalists see the oil sands as a major threat to our Earth, due to the destruction that the separation process leaves behind. CO2 emissions are also emitted when upgrading the bitumen into the common form of crude oil. Contaminated water bodies called ‘tailings ponds’ are the result of the bitumen separation process, and substances from these toxic ponds have ...view middle of the document...

The oil sands is an economic driver in Canada due to the significant financial benefits it has provided and will continue to provide to Canada’s economy and to the greater population. An example of how the oil sands has vital benefits to the economy is illustrated in the following statistic provided by the Canadian Energy Research Institute: “Alberta can expect $350 billion in royalties and $122 billion in provincial and municipal tax revenue from the oil sands over the next 25 years.” In addition, Neela Banerjee claims that, “The petroleum industry has invested billions into the industry.” With this significant amount of money expected to come out of the oil sands, the government can reinvest back into the industry, and can reinvest the 207 billion dollars that Alberta expects to be capitally invested from 2013-2022. This re-invested capital will provide support into research in new technologies that reduce the environmental impact of the tar sands. These financial benefits are projected to go to the people of Alberta, as shown in 2012-2013, when Alberta received 3.56 billion dollars in royalties from the oil sands; this money was spent toward public services. Instead, half of these royalties and tax revenues could go to the federal government, to be distributed among other provinces, which currently get little benefit from the oil sands. This would mitigate the on-going issue of other provinces not supporting the oil sands, as provinces that cannot support themselves, could receive financial aid from the now prosperous Alberta. According to Neela Banerjee of the Chicago Tribune, the oil sands also provide jobs to thousands of people, in an environment where other jobs options are hardly found. Also, according to the government of Alberta, “Oil sands currently affects the jobs of 112,000 people across Canada outside the province of Alberta and this is expected to grow to over 500,000 jobs over the next 25 years”. The fact that the oil sands has directly provided employment for thousands, and will affect the jobs of 500,000 in the near future in some way, further implies that, despite some local environmental issues, the oil sands is an absolute necessity, and sometimes a requirement to live for Canadians. Some employees of the oil sands feel desperate, and believe the only other option, other than the oil sands, is starvation. This is primary evidence of how there is clearly little other employment in the area. Lastly, aboriginal groups support the oil sands. According to the government of Alberta, 10% of all oil sands’ employees are aboriginal, and’ companies have a contract with aboriginal companies worth nearly one billion dollars. This group of aboriginal Canadians demonstrates how the oil sands benefits many different groups of Canadians. To conclude, the royalties and tax revenue that Alberta received in the past and will continue to receive from the oil sands are significant, and could benefit all provinces in the future....

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