How much has the oil sands industry grown over the last few decades?
As the images show, forest must be cleared for both in situ and surface mining. The mining and extraction process releases sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and fine particulate matter into the atmosphere. Tailings ponds contain a number of toxins that can leak into the groundwater or the Athabasca River. The entire process, from mining and separating oil sands to producing crude oil, releases more greenhouse gases than other oil production methods.