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Oil Sand Mining Will Reduce Birds By 1/2

From the “Green” section of the tree-ravaging Washington Post:

Report: Alberta Mines Imperil Birds

Tar Sands Operations Affect Migrators, Environmentalists Say

By Kari Lydersen
Friday, December 26, 2008; Page A08

CHICAGO — About half of America’s migratory birds fly from destinations as far-flung as Chile to nest in Canada’s boreal forest. In Alberta, that forest lies above tar sands that contain oil reserves second only to Saudi Arabia’s.

The excavation of the tar sands — projected to pump $2.4 trillion into Canada’s economy between 2010 and 2030 — could reduce the region’s migratory-bird population by almost half, according to a peer-reviewed study released Dec. 2 by U.S. and Canadian environmental groups.

The Connecticut warbler and the blackpoll warbler, which fly through the Washington area en route from Alberta’s boreal forests, are among about 300 species affected by tar sands mining. The study estimates that over 30 to 50 years, tar sands excavation will reduce bird populations by anywhere from 6 million to 166 million, including several endangered and threatened species. The world’s only natural breeding ground for endangered whooping cranes, for example, lies north of the Albertan tar sands, and the Athabasca River, which feeds the cranes’ wetland habitat, flows north through the sands.

The report calls for a moratorium on new tar sands development pending further study of environmental impacts or, failing that, measures that include noise reduction and habitat restoration.

The mining of bitumen, a form of crude oil, from the gooey oil sands destroys habitat, drying up and contaminating wetlands where birds nest or rest during migration. Birds also land on tailing ponds, the large reservoirs where toxic runoff is stored, and often sink after becoming covered in oily residue.

"They see what looks like this great lake to spend the night on, and it turns out to be a death trap," said Doug Stotz, senior conservation ecologist at the Field Museum in Chicago, where the study was released.

David Collyer, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said tar sands projects already undergo an environmental assessment process that includes effects on birds

Five Midwestern refineries are seeking permission to modify their plants to process Albertan tar sands oil, and Hyperion, a Dallas-based company, is proposing a new tar sands oil refinery in South Dakota.

No matter what, there will always be some excuse found to keep us dependent upon foreign oil.

Why is that?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, December 26th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Oil Sand Mining Will Reduce Birds By 1/2”

  1. bill says:

    Because they don’t care about the birds in foreign countries and tell the environmentalists about the recent hangings for obstructing the public good.

  2. cjokry says:

    These reports would be amusing if they weren’t liberals’ excuses for standing in the way of the very same “better tomorrow” they keep promising everyone. Also, the one with the lemmings was funnier.

  3. VMAN says:

    The only species liberals care nothing about is the human species. I live in Florida and alligators were pretty much gone and guess what? The ecosystem did not collapse. Wolves were removed from Yellowstone and guess what? The ecosystem did not collapse. There used to be dinosaurs and dodo birds. They’re gone and life goes on. Why doesn’t someone have the guts to stand up and tell these people to go to hell.

  4. BillK says:

    Of course a study by “US and Canadian environmental groups” would never be biased

  5. DW says:

    No matter what, there will always be some excuse found to keep us dependent upon foreign oil.


    (sorry, couldn’t resist ;-)

  6. pinandpuller says:

    No fear, Neil Clark Warren has been forced to set up a dating site for whooping cranes-their population should bounce back in no time.

    Its weird but I thought the word was arboreal and I think that I’ve read everything Edgar Rice Burroughs ever wrote. What other forests are there besides “boreal”? Bamboo?

    I think that we should start transplanting endangered species to all liberal government officials properties.

    • DW says:

      It is “boreal” – it just means northern forest.
      Were there a southern counterpart to it, it would be known as the austral forest.
      (for comparison, think of “aurora borealis”: northern lights and “aurora australis”: those ‘northern lights’ that you see when you’re way down in the southern hemisphere :-)

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