HuffPost Canada closed in 2021 and this site is maintained as an online archive. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many things are written and said about the oil sands, and one of the allegations frequently made is that the oil derived from the naturally occurring bitumen is "dirty", tainted with the stain of environmental destruction. While that debate rages on one rarely hears about what happens to some of the money generated by that so-called "dirty" oil. One may hear about corporate profits, and royalties, and high salaries - but one very rarely hears about philanthropy.
What makes Canadian oil so ethical isn't because all the oil producers here are naturally inclined to uphold the highest standards of worker rights and environmental stewardship. It's because Canada expects that of them and, in many cases, demands it of them through publicly backed regulation.
The Keystone pipeline will not serve American interests, but delight the Canadian government and its oil lobby. In addition to draining your pocketbooks and further compromising your environmental health, it will enrich Canadian politicians who don't believe in climate change.
Only an independent, science-based monitoring authority, at arms-length from government and industry, can establish the necessary credibility in gathering data and making recommendations regarding local and long-term environmental effects of unearthing Alberta's oil.
This would be a great time in our history to have an "easy" button. Unfortunately, transformation does not come that easily. Even wind turbines represent the "pure embodiment of fossil fuels," because of all the steel and plastic required to build them.