James Cameron, “the most powerful man in Hollywood,” is in Alberta. Canadian TV cut into regular broadcasts this morning to show footage of him climbing into a helicopter for an areal tour of the tar sands. He’s touring with industry reps this morning, then will visit with Indigenous leaders later this afternoon in Ft. Chipewyan. He’s expected to do a formal press briefing on Wednesday.
Cameron is visiting on the invitation of George Poitras on behalf of the Indigenous Environmental Network issued last year at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Rights at the UN. Kevin Libin at the (conservative) National Post is providing live coverage during the industry tour. CTV is also getting good footage, including Cameron’s comparison of the tar sands to destruction of the Amazon and his movie Avatar.
Meanwhile, tar sands development is beginning to encroach on US soil. Utah’s Division of Oil, Gas & Mining just approved the first ever commercial lease for tar sands development adjacent to Canyonlands National Park. Transcanada is also pushing for approval of a $12 billion pipeline to bring 1 million barrels per day of tar sands crude oil to the Gulf Coast.
Both projects show an industry pushing our economy deeper into oil addiction–scraping bottom to extract the last, dirtiest drops of a fundamentally a non renewable resource.
Take action to demand a stop to tar sands production in the US and watch this space for updates on Cameron’s “Avatarsands” visit.