Growth of the Alberta tar sands from 1984 to 2011
Visible in the pictures are the tailing ponds holding contaminated water and material from the extraction process, along with surface stripping.
So, in light of the near-certain death of the Keystone XL pipeline, will Canada’s tar sand production continue to grow in the coming years? Or do environmental stewardship and carbon consciousness counter the global demand for cheap energy?
There is also a video (.mp4) showing the progression from 1984 to present. All photos courtesy of the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.