The Ecologist

Tar sands protest in Canada

Until the 1960s, this Canadian landscape was unspoiled boreal forest, home to moose and caribou (Image copyright: Greenpeace)

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Activists force tar sand mine to close in Canada


16th September, 2009

Greenpeace activists block Shell's tar sands oil extraction operation in protest at its environmental cost

Shell has been forced into halting production at its Canadian oil sands mine after a protest by environmental activists.

Twenty Greenpeace activists blocked the company's Albian Sands open-pit mine in northern Alberta ahead of a meeting between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US president Barack Obama in Washington today.

Greenpeace says open-cast mining operations like Shell's force vast swaths of forests to be cleared and leave behind a legacy of toxic lakes and a landscape blighted by giant mines.

'Tar sands are a climate crime and will likely be a big part of the discussion between Obama and Harper. Obama needs to reject any further development of tar sands, and commit to weaning the US off of its dangerous addiction to oil.

'Only then can he become a true leader on climate change,' said Mike Hudema, Greenpeace Canada climate and energy campaigner from inside the blockade.

Useful links

Greenpeace - Stop the Tar Sands

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