Megawoes on Megaloads

A scene from the documentary film Tipping Point: The Age of the Oil Sands

Idaho activists try to fire-up public over trafficking of tar-sands equipment

In the opening scenes of the documentary Tipping Point: The Age of the Oil Sands, a helicopter glides over Alberta’s Athabasca River.  Wending through a boreal forest the size of Greece, the river and its attendant countryside is as rugged and beautiful as any in the world.  Then, over a rise, gargantuan smokestacks suddenly spear the sky, lording over a landscape that can only be described as apocalyptic: the single largest source of CO2 emissions in North America.

These are the oil sands, a geological formation in which vast quantities of bitumen lie just below the earth’s crust — the largest proven reserves of oil in the world.

More than 1,000 miles to the south, cities like Moscow and Coeur d’Alene, along the I-90 and U.S. 95 corridors, are front and center in the development’s debate.

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(By Zach Hagadone, Boise Weekly)