Oilsands | Pembina Institute

Responsible Oilsands Development


Hundreds of square kilometres of boreal forest are already being strip-mined. (Photo: David Dodge, The Pembina Institute)Albertans and Canadians are increasingly concerned when they look at the way Alberta’s oilsands are being developed. Amidst growing urgency about the need to fight global warming, the oilsands have emerged as Canada’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas pollution.

Other impacts — from drawing down water levels in the Athabasca River, to the creation of toxic tailings dumps, to hundreds of square kilometers of strip-mining and drilling in the boreal forest — are growing just as rapidly.

Alberta can do better

Many of the environmental, social and economic impacts being felt across Alberta can be traced back to the decision to develop the oilsands as fast as possible rather than at a manageable pace. As a result, while oilsands projects have expanded rapidly, government policies and planning have fallen far behind, leaving a serious deficit in environmental management.

The following op-ed by Jennifer Grant, director of the Pembina Institute's oilsands program, explains the Institute's perspective on the need for responsible oilsands development.

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