Sarah Hobbie, a professor at the University of Minnesota, is among more than 100 climate scientists, economists and biologists who’ve signed an open letter, calling for a ban on all future work in the oil sands.
“Climate change is a really serious issue facing our society and I was interested in it from that perspective,” Hobbie says. “Developing the tar sands is the wrong direction to be heading, given the seriousness of climate change.”
Hobbie says the oil sands development in Canada doesn’t provide much power for the costs involved.
“It’s a low energy-yielding fuel per unit of fuel that you consume,” Hobbie says. “There just seems to be a lot of detrimental side effects associated with the development of tar sands. I think it’s just the wrong direction to be moving in.”
The oil sands are a major economic source for Canada, but Hobbie says that return is temporary.
She says, “Certainly, some people will suffer economically in the short run but in the long term, that will probably be outweighed by the economic gains achieved by reducing fossil fuel emissions and curbing climate change.”
TransCanada has been pushing to get the needed permits to build the Keystone XL pipeline across the Dakotas and Nebraska to move oil from the oil sands region of Canada to the Gulf Coast.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton