Tar Sands critically examines the frenzied development in the Canadian tar sands and the far-reaching implications for all of North America. Bitumen, the sticky stuff that ancients used to glue the Tower of Babel together, is the world’s most expensive hydrocarbon. This difficult-to-find resource has made Canada the number-one supplier of oil to the United States, and every major oil company now owns a lease in the Alberta tar sands. The region has become a global Deadwood, complete with rapturous engineers, cut-throat cocaine dealers, Muslim extremists, and a huge population of homeless individuals.
In this award-winning book, a Canadian bestseller, journalist Andrew Nikiforuk exposes the disastrous environmental, social, and political costs of the tar sands, arguing forcefully for change. This updated edition includes new chapters on the most energy-inefficient tar sands projects (the steam plants), as well as new material on the controversial carbon cemeteries and nuclear proposals to accelerate bitumen production.