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Dustin LindenSmith

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On the oil sands projects in northern Alberta

Via audrawilliams, I've just read the following incredible article about Fort MacMurray:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/oct/30/energy.oilandpetrol

It kind of makes me sick to my stomach. It's a long read, but it's worth it if you're interested in any measure in the tremendous oil sands development that's taking place up there, and in the effects that this new boom has had on the community and the people who are working there.

I'm from Calgary originally and have several family members who work in one form or another up in Fort Mac. Most of what I hear from them is how much money they make; one person I know grosses $30K each month with a simple business he runs that services the oil industry up there. And my mother is an accountant for an energy firm in Calgary that is setting up a project up there; she went on a site visit last year and was horrified by what it looked like. She said it was like visiting Mars or something, what with the great swathes of strip-mined surfaces; great strips of earth many kilometres long peeled back to reveal steaming beds of bitumen. It's a terrible and money-infused place up there, to be sure. One can't help but feel like people are selling their souls to make a fast buck up there.

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