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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The development of the Athabasca oil sands has led to dueling pastoral letters from Northern Alberta’s Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops. Bishop Luc Bouchard of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Paul has called for a halt to mining, saying its development "constitutes a serious moral problem." However, Archbishop John Clarke of the Anglican Diocese of Athabasca has endorsed development, chastising those who were "vilifying one of the most exciting and challenging projects in Canadian history."
Spread across 54,000 sq miles of sparsely populated Northern Alberta, the Athabasca oil sands contain an estimated 1.7 trillion barrels of heavy oil or bitumen, and are roughly equal to the world’s total proven reserves of conventional petroleum. Commercial extraction of oil from the tar sands began in 1967, but recent developments in oil extraction technology as well as the spike in world petroleum prices has led to considerable private and government investment in the region.
On Jan 25, Bishop Bourchard released a pastoral letter to his diocese urging a halt to exploration and surface mining. “The integrity of creation in the Athabasca oil sands is clearly being sacrificed for economic gain,” he argued.
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