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Published: Saturday 20 July, 2013

michael kors handbags outlet store michael kors handbags outlet store A chance to stop the dirtiest oil

Say it was a moment in history, and you could do something to stop the ecologically most destructive project on the face of the earth. Would you raise your voice or just wave it on?

Minnesota has that opportunity, and many Ojibwe tribal members are raising their voices to do the right thing.

That project the Canadian Tar Sands is devastating land, water and people in the north who rely on the land for their food. Land and water are poisoned. Rare cancers are becoming commonplace in small Dene, Cree and Metis communities, and the earth is being scraped down hundreds of feet to create oil for an American market. It is the most inefficient energy equation imaginable, and the most destructive.

An area the size of Lake Superior is slated for strip mining for tar sands. Canada and the province of Alberta and Canada have leased more than 65,000 square kilometers of land for tar sands development. Environmental regulations in Alberta are lax. Tar sands production is licensed to use more water than Albertas two major cities Calgary and Edmonton combined. That water is turned into poison, laced with chemical sludge. Daily, tar sands producers burn 600 million cubic feet of natural gas to produce tar sands oil, enough natural gas to heat 3 million homes. The carbon emissions for the project surpass those of 97 nations in the world combined.

This month, hundreds said no. Leech Lake Tribal citizens bravely gathered in protest to speak to the tribal council about a decision that will affect their lands. Unfortunately, the tribal council signed an agreement to allow a pipeline to cross tribal lands and transport oil to Superior, Wis., but elders in the community continue to fight its construction.

The pipeline, if completed, will carry the worlds dirtiest oil from Alberta. Oil companies use up to five barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil, but the process also creates two barrels of toxic waste. Not to mention that the project is producing greenhouse gases while also destroying the boreal forest, part of the worlds most important storehouse of climate regulating carbon and oxygen.

The tar sands project is deforesting the countryside and releasing an average of 11 million liters of contaminated water into the environment every day. A pipeline across northern Minnesota will not only allow for the expansion of the tar sands project into American markets, it will threaten our own forests and groundwater by exposing them to potential spills and deforestation.

Tar sands oil is so evil that all 43 First Nations Chiefs in Alberta have sought to place a moratorium on the project. Opponents aptly call the project Mordor, a tribute to Tolkiens land of death.

Now they want to move Mordor south.

Transporting oil is not safe for Minnesota or the Leech Lake people.

Last weeks signing was not without protest, but the council felt the economic burdens of tribal debt were too great to decline such an offer. Hundreds of Leech Lake citizens continued to protest the contract by seeking a referendum but were unable to successfully bring the vote back to the people. Today, these same citizens are looking for alternative measures that might be taken to help stop the construction of a pipeline.

Minnesotans have a unique opportunity to stop the transport to ma michael kors handbags outlet store rket of the most destructive oil project in the world. A project that would not pass a federal environmental impact statement in Minnesota should not be allowed to sell to our markets or we have simply exported ou michael kors handbags outlet store r environmental destruction. Minnesotas leaders, tribal leaders, private landowners and the Obama administration must stop the project and its pipelines to market. We have a chance to raise our michael kors handbags outlet store voices and say no.

Nellis Kennedy, a member of the Navajo Nation, is a national campaign associate with Honor the Earth. michael kors handbags outlet store