The tar sands of Alberta are known to have a much higher carbon cost than traditional oil to refine and produce. A pipeline to transport this dirty oil from Alberta to the US called the “Alberta Clipper” had its permit for construction issued last month, only to be challenged in federal court by four Native American and environmental groups. The Sierra Club is the most famous of the groups.
The construction would impact over 200 bodies of water and destroy 1300 acres of wetlands, 1200 acres of forested lands, and 650 acres of open land. Some of this damage will occur in the Leech Lake Chippewa First Nation, which had not given its tribal approval before the permit was issued.
The environmental groups are enjoined in the suit not just to protect the vast resources that will be tainted by construction, but the very nature of the oil itself. which costs far more to produce in terms of carbon and dollars than conventional oil, despite its domestic location. Efforts by Alberta oil companies to cut carbon emissions have been cosmetic at best. More at the Environment News Service.