In Washington, hundreds of people from both sides of the U.S.–Canada border have been arrested for protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,700-mile-long affair that would bisect the United States to carry oil south to the Gulf of Mexico. But where does this oil come from? It comes from the oil sands under the Athabasca River Delta, one of the world’s largest watersheds. Though oil has been extracted from this region for more than a century, the vast area will be expanded greatly if current plans are approved.
“It’s the complete eradication of an ecosystem,” Lenz said. “I mean, the forest is clear-cut, the wetlands are drained and dredged, the soil is dug up, replaced by massive mines and toxic ponds which you can see from outer space.”
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