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Monday, November 1, 2010

Tar Sands Oil Kills Ducks; TransCanada Spoils Roads

If you still aren't mad at TransCanada for slurping up $10.5 million in tax refunds that South Dakota could have used to fund education and roads (see Rep. Mitch Fargen's duly indignant comments at the Madison Chamber forum last week), how about getting mad at them for poaching ducks?

Well, I suppose it's not poaching, and it's not TransCanada directly, but they are part of tar sands industry that is killing ducks without a hunting license, ducks that you and your law-abiding, South Dakota license-holding pals could joyfully and legally blast from the sky. Reports Plains Justice:

Just a week after paying a CAN$3 million fine for the deaths of 1600 ducks that landed on its tailing ponds in 2008, Canada tar sands extractor Syncrude had to euthanize 230 ducks that landed on its tar sands tailing ponds this week (there was good coverage of the story out of Calgary). To look at their website, you’d think Syncrude was an environmental organization, but they’ve been unable to resolve the lethal combination of highly toxic tailings ponds and a huge migratory waterfowl corridor. In spite of reassurances from industry and the Canadian government that the 2008 event was a mistake that would never happen again, here we are [Carrie La Seur, "230 More Ducks Dead in Tar Sands Tailing Ponds," Plains Justice Today, 2010.10.28].

TransCanada is more directly responsible for some road wreckage here on the Great Plains. Just as has been the case in South Dakota, Kansas officials and residents are struggling with road damage caused by construction last year of TransCanada's Keystone pipeline.

So thanks to our addiction to foreign oil, you'll have fewer ducks to shoot and you'll burn more gas trying to get to those ducks as you detour around wrecked roads on TransCanada's pipeline route.

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