"In our view, our goal should be to encourage, where we can, a process that is already making fitful progress, the 'greening' of the oil sands.
"Should we opt instead to support policies that damage the market for the oil sands and raise the cost of capital here, we should at least do so knowingly, well aware that, while this may seem to advance our environmental interests, it will harm our energy security."
"Those of us, including many of our readers, who have seen the projects in Northern Alberta, have no doubt that the environmental costs are high. And while mining operations, with their vast, over-the-horizon scale are the most shocking at first viewing, even in situ projects with their dense drilling, massive above ground steam plumbing and upgrading facilities, have a far more visible footprint than conventional fields.
"Over time, the major players are committed to spend billions, perhaps tens of billions, of dollars on reclamation, but the land will never look like it did before. Paradoxically, when the soil is returned and replanted, as has been done on a limited scale, the land lacks the roughness of the native taiga forest and is unnaturally fertile."