Canada's oil patch is booming. The Alberta tar sands have become the next big oil source for the United States, replacing Saudi Arabia. Within the next 15 years, Canada will be pumping four times more crude than today from the tar pits of northern Alberta into the US market. The tar sands are key to the claim that Canada is the new "energy superpower."
As the new backbone of Canada's economy, the tar sands are bound to define and shape Canada's role and destiny as a nation in the 21st century.
What is lacking is independent, reliable information and thoughtful analysis on the host of questions raised by the tar sands. What is the real cost to Albertans and to Canadians? How far are we willing to go to fuel America's oil addiction? What will the ecological and social impacts be? What can be done to build an alternative energy future in an age of global warming?
Tar Sands Showdown provides a tool for stimulating public discussion and debate about these important issues.
TONY CLARKE is the founder and director of the Polaris Institute in Ottawa, an organization dedicated to developing tools and strategies for civic action on major public policy issues, including energy security, water rights, and free trade. He holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago, has written numerous books, and is the recipient of Sweden's Right Livelihood Award, the "alternative Nobel Prize." Among his most recent books is Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water with Maude Barlow.