Social Murder

Air pollution from Alberta tar sands is 6300% higher than reported

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Organic carbon emissions equal all other Canadian sources combined

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One of Suncor’s operations on the Athabaska River

by Ian Angus

In addition to vast amounts of greenhouse gasses, Alberta’s tar sands mines spew organic gases, particles and aerosols that are known to harm human health.

A study published today in the journal Science shows that the actual amounts of those poisons produced every day are from 1,900% up to 6,300% higher than official industry reports admit.

Using new aircraft-based measuring methods, the scientists found “major gaps in petrochemical emissions reporting.”

Actual organic carbon emissions from the tars sands are “equivalent to that from all other sources across Canada combined.”

“Total oil sands organic carbon emissions also far surpass reactive organic gas emissions from total anthropogenic sources (stationary, mobile, and chemical products) in the largest US megacities (such as Los Angeles).”

Indigenous communities have long complained that air from the giant bitumen pits is toxic, but industry and government have insisted it is safe.

As the Science report proves, the official reports and measurement technologies minimize or omit great quantities of air pollutants that are killing people in the area and downwind.

More than ever, it’s clear that the only safe amount of tar sands mining is none at all.

Source: He Megan et al., “Total organic carbon measurements reveal major gaps in petrochemical emissions reporting,” Science, January 25, 2024