The Oil Sands and Me

This post was brought to you by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers via sheblogs. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of CAPP.

I love road trips. I love the excitement of pointing my truck at an open road, even if I know what waits at the end, because there’s always something new to see along the way.

view of a road in a rearview mirror

Sometimes, as I drive the highways between Vancouver Island and Alberta, I think about the explorers who passed that way two hundred years ago. That makes me appreciate not only the routes they found through the mountains, but the wonders of modern technology–my truck, the gas and the oil that keeps it running, the pavement that lets us spin along at 100 km an hour, the cell phone and the laptop stashed on the seat beside me.

Growing up in central Alberta, I’ve seen first-hand the processes that make all of this technology available to me. My father works in the oil and gas industry, as did my father-in-law and my uncle.My godfather worked in Fort McMurray, so on one childhood visit, we had the chance to tour the oil sands and see just how the bitumen was taken out of the ground and made into all the products we use in our everyday lives. I remember the truck tire that was bigger than my dad, but I also remember all the new little trees planted to reclaim the land after the oil sands were mined.

The other day, I saw a car with two bumper stickers on the back that read: “No oil tankers.” “No pipelines.” I wanted to get out and ask, “So, no car?” It seemed rather righteously ironic that this person was against the transportation of the oil and gas that fueled his transportation.


I love nature. I love mountains and huge trees and lakes and following paths in places that few other people have walked. I like to imagine what this land looked like two hundred years ago when those explorers first saw it, before we put houses and roads and cities all over the place. While I can appreciate the parts of the world that have been as yet untouched by man, I  also believe that we are stewards of this world and the resources in it.

Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world, with most of that located in the oil sands of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Today’s world runs on petroleum products, from the oil and gas we use to fuel our transportation to the many other products we use in our daily lives. Canada’s oil sands can meet the world’s growing energy needs and create thousands of new jobs.

For more information about the oil sands industry, visit

This post was brought to you by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers via sheblogs. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of CAPP.


  1. says

    Must have been so interesting to see the whole process of how things are done. Something that most of us might never get the chance to see, except the process of how to pump.

  2. says

    Such a tricky and heated subject that so many enter into without any information at all. It hard for the average person to know what is actual facts and what is spin – on both sides of the story. So frustrating!!

  3. says

    It never is so black and white is it? There is the ideal, and then there is the reality of what consumer demand dictates. I would love to see more wind and solar power used in powering our transportation but it takes time to make a full transition. It’s tricky business too because while we do have the ability as you say to provide petroleum to the world, that doesn’t happen without a cost to the environment. It is then that the scales need to be weighed I suppose, taking into consideration the trickle down effect (ie. environment impacted, bees impacted, pollination plummets, vegetation depletes, erosion, draught, etc.)

    • says

      I agree that there’s the ideal and the real – but we can keep striving toward the ideal. My dad was a huge fan of solar power and built our house to capitalize on that; he wanted to add solar panels someday to increase our energy efficiency. I have friends who have bought a very energy efficient house. Again, I think it comes down to stewardship. Just because we have a lot of oil and gas reserves doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t conserve the amount of energy we do use or seek out other energy sources. And we can keep looking for better ways to mine the oil and gas, and more ways to reduce pollution and to create less environmental impact. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. says

    I think this campaign is great! Really shedding light as many people are clueless about what the oil sands are. I personally like a happy balance in my life :)

    • says

      I like that happy balance too, and I do think it’s great to start the discussion. I hear many people talk about this topic who clearly don’t know anything about it, and I want to say, “Go visit the oil sands! Or at least read both sides of the argument and then think about it.” :) Thanks for dropping by.

  5. says

    LOL OMG, those bumper stickers are too funny! Yeah I totally would have thought the same thing. While I can agree that we need to make sure we manage our resources carefully, and make smarter choices about how we use our oil and gas reserves. They are still very much needed day to day to keep our houses warm, drive cars/buses, and for the machines we use to grow our food.

    • says

      We only made it up to Ft. Mac three or four times, and that was because we knew friends up there. :) I don’t think we’d have gone otherwise! But yes, if you do have the chance to visit, I recommend touring the oil sands and seeing what’s going on there. Clearly it was memorable to me as a child and I’d like to go back to find out more now that I’m an adult and see this issue coming up around me. :)

    • Bonnie Way says

      Jennifer – I’d love to go back and do it again. But yes, that truck tire still sticks in my memory. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *