Greenpeace greets opening of Alberta legislature with message: Stop the Tar Sands



    EDMONTON, Nov. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Four Greenpeace activists suspended their
bodies 42 metres over the North Saskatchewan River today to hang two 7 x 15
metre banners from the High Level Bridge in Edmonton. The banners depict the
areas under current and projected tar sands development with the message "Stop
the Tar Sands." They hang in full view of the Alberta legislature, which
opened today.
    "This government is recklessly pursuing the destruction of Alberta's
environment and it has to stop," said Mike Hudema, Greenpeace campaigner.
"Unless we act quickly, the tar sands will devastate the region's water
supply, ravage a quarter of the province's landscape and ruin any chance for
Canada to meaningfully tackle climate change.
    "Our activists are risking arrest and punishment to sound the alarm and
to plead with politicians to prevent this crime against the environment."
    The tar sands are dirty. To produce a single barrel of tar sands oil
requires three to five times the amount of water. Wastewater is collected in
giant "tailing ponds" visible from space and so toxic that birds are kept away
using air cannons.
    Old growth forests are ripped from the ground and discarded to make way
for giant earthmovers to dig up the landscape, an important habitat to
wildlife. If all of the proposed leases for tar sands development are granted,
the tar sands will encompass an area the size of Florida.
    It also takes two to five times more energy to produce a barrel of oil
from the tar sands than any other type of oil production. Energy production
from the burning of fossil fuels contributes to climate change by releasing
greenhouse gases. The tar sands, if current plans proceed, are expected to
emit 140 million tonnes of greenhouse gases - or double the annual emissions
of all the cars and trucks in the country today.
    Greenpeace is calling for an immediate moratorium on new tar sands
development, a phase-out of existing projects and aggressive investment in
renewable energy.




For further information:

For further information: please visit www.greenpeace.ca/tarsands or
contact: Mike Hudema, Greenpeace climate change campaigner, (780) 504-5601;
Jane Story, Greenpeace communications officer, (416) 930-9055; Note to
editors: High resolution photos available at www.greenpeace.ca/gallery. Video
available upon request.


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