Neil Young on oil sands: ‘Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima’
Michael Babad, The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 10 2013, 7:48 AM EDT
Young on oil sands
Canadian rocker Neil Young is wading into the heated debate over the oil sands and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, warning of the health effects on First Nations peoples and the “wasteland” that is Fort McMurray.
Mr. Young, one of Canada’s best-known singer-songwriters since the 1960s, told a conference in Washington yesterday that he recently travelled to Alberta, where “much of the oil comes from, much of the oil that we’re using here, which they call ethical oil because it’s not from Saudi Arabia or some country that may be at war with us.”
He was at a National Farmers Union conference on Capitol Hill meant to support alternative fuels, such as ethanol, which he did at length, slamming Big Oil and talk about his own LincVolt, an old Continental that runs on ethanol and electricity.
Here’s what he said about the oil sands:
“The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima. Fort McMurray is a wasteland. The Indians up there and the native peoples are dying. The fuels all over – the fumes everywhere – you can smell it when you get to town. The closest place to Fort McMurray that is doing the tar sands work is 25 or 30 miles out of town and you can taste it when you get to Fort McMurray. People are sick. People are dying of cancer because of this. All the First Nations people up there are threatened by this.”