Social Responsibility in the development of Alberta's Oil Sands

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The oil sands development in northern Alberta has become a hot bed for debate between producers and environmental groups. With worldwide water crisis rapidly developing the use of water in the development Alberta’s oil sands begs the question, are the oil sands in northern Alberta being developed with social responsibility in mind? Social responsibility is a balance companies must maintain between people, the planet and profit. Propaganda produced by environmental agencies and oil companies must be examined for biases; environmentalists seem to blame all of Canada’s environmental ailments on “evil” oil companies (Thompson, 2012).
Stakeholders Affected:
With so many people involved with the development of Alberta’s oil sand the list of stakeholders is very difficult to exhaust. Key stakeholders include the Alberta Government, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Alberta tax payers, environmental groups, the media, Energy and Resource Conservation Board and in many cases First Nations communities. Although the reach of people affected goes far beyond these people to international companies purchasing oil sands oil, foreign governments, other provinces in Canada and the people in small towns in Alberta directly impacted by this work. With water use being a key factor in the oil sands there are additional stakeholders who would not normally concern themselves in oil and gas production. The CAPP members who are involved with production out of Alberta’s oil sands are under the microscope by a copious amount of stakeholders all around the world in an incredibly broad number of capacities.
Responsible Development:
Statistic from 2007 show oil companies using around 221 million cubic meters of water as opp...

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...nd Utilities Board. (2000, May). “Earth Sciences Report 2000-05: Historical Overview of the Fort McMurray Area and Oil Sands Industry in Northeast Alberta.”
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ERCB (2012, November). “Water Disposal Limits and Reporting Requirements for Thermal In Situ Oil Sands Schemes.” Directive 081. Nov 2012. Print. 21
Taylor, L. (2012, October). "Water Challenges in Oil Sands Country: Alberta's Water for Life
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Thompson, D. (2012, October). "Reality Check: Water and the Oil Sands." Alberta Water Portal.
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Weinhold, B. (2011, March). “Alberta’s Oil Sands Hard Evidence, Missing Data, New Promises.” Environmental Health Perspectives 119. Print.

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