Canadian researchers reported in a study that the development of Alberta’s oil sands has increased levels of cancer-causing compounds in surrounding lakes well beyond natural levels. For the study, financed by the Canadian government, the researchers analyzed sediment dating back about 50 years from six small and shallow lakes north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the center of the oil sands industry. Layers of the sediment were tested for deposits of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, groups of chemicals associated with oil that have been found to cause cancer in humans after long-term exposure.The stuy is adds to the growing evidence that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would move the oil down through the western United States and down to refineries along the Gulf Coast, will have devastign effects on the health of this country’s land and citizens. It’s never been clearer that we need bold and immediate climate leadership – that’s why this Presidents Day weekend thousands of activists will head to the White House and tell President Obama to shut down the climate-killing Keystone XL pipeline once and for all.
Four months after it ceased drilling operations, Shell still managed to nearly cause a major oil spill last week, when its Kulluk drilling rig – filled with 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel and lubricant — ran aground after the boats towing it lost control of the rig. Following this incident, the Obama administration launched an urgent review of Shell’s plans and preparedness to drill in the Arctic. Incredibly, Shell was only moving the Kulluk to Washington to dodge $6 million in Alaska state taxes. This wasn’t even the first time Shell lost control of its drilling vessels. Shell couldn’t even meet the agreements it made with the Obama administration, pulling major bait and switches on its oil spill response plan, EPA air pollution rules, and repeatedly failing to meet Coast Guard requirements for its oil spill containment barge. Tell the Department of Interior: It’s time to stop Arctic drilling.