List of Pros and Cons of Tar Sands

In a world where oil has become an increasingly scarce resource, there are many who believe that the tar sands oil located in Canada will provide a viable solution. Development of the tar sands has received vociferous opposition, as well as continued support. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of tar sands.

List of Pros of Tar Sands

1. Closer Relationship Between The United States and Canada
Thanks to the presence of the tar sands, Canada has rapidly risen up the ranks, to become the top foreign supplier of oil to the United States. The tar sands have strengthened the bond between the two countries and have allowed them to develop a much closer economic relationship.

2. Economic Growth In Canada
Tar sands have led to a great deal of economic growth for the Canadian region in which they reside. While many areas of the country are experiencing a financial downturn, the tar sands have allowed certain areas to stem the tide. Alberta’s tar sands provide its citizens with an influx of income and have created numerous jobs.

3. Secure Energy Source
While most do not consider Canada to be one of the largest providers of the oil in the developed world, the tar sands provide the nation with one of the world’s biggest reserves of oil. Canada does not possess an unlimited oil supply, but their reserves are currently the second largest in the world, giving them a leg up on a number of other First World nations.

List of Cons of Tar Sands

1. Excessive Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Oil cannot be extracted from the tar sands by using conventional methods. As a result, there is a far greater instance of greenhouse gas emissions. Tar sands oil is located deep beneath the surface and requires methods for removal that are more carbon intensive. This causes greenhouse gas emissions to occur at a rate that is nearly 15 percent higher than normal.

2. Animal Lives Destroyed
The location of the tar sands is a popular breeding ground for a number of bird species. If the tar sands continue to be tapped into for production purposes, this will cause the birds to vacate their natural habitat. Their breeding grounds are typically destroyed in order to create more space for the production of oil.

3. Too Many Eggs Placed Into One Basket
America has begun to develop a terrifying amount of reliance of the tar sands oil reserves, which is not a sustainable plan for the future. The amount of oil in the reserves is limited and the United States will eventually need to find a different source for oil. In the meantime, observers believe that by relying upon the tar sands so heavily, the nation is putting too many of its eggs in the Canadian oil basket.