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Tar sands issue needs attention

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Letters to the editor can help bring awareness to the tar sands issue.

I was reminded recently while attending a discussion at CSKT that our letters can help bring powerful awareness to folks where there is a genuine concern that affects us here in Montana. Complaining and not doing anything doesn’t prove productive, yet acting and communicating these important issues is the start to making positive changes. 

While I was not aware of this topic of tar sands before attending last Saturday’s panel discussion monitored by Winona LaDuke, I left realizing the power of our voices. While our opinions may differ, our actions can prevent something devastating from happening. 

The tar sands issue definitely affects our home front. 

At the discussion CSKT’s Francis Auld addressed cultural preservation, Canada’s Eriel Deranger addressed tar sands in her area, North Cheyenne Reservation’s Gail Small addressed her community’s struggles to prevent coal development and CSKT Natural Resource Department’s Rich Janssen addressed concerns for Flathead Reservation.

Tar sands are being produced all over the world to create another version of oil to meet oil economy needs. As quoted at this event “tar sands are the crack cocaine version of our oil addiction.” The production of this oil is not only destroying the surrounding earth, animals and humans with the toxins produced, but the delivery of these oils through western Montana fall 2010 (specifically Lochsa River, along Lolo Creek, through Missoula and up adjacent the Blackfoot River to Great Falls) through pipelines and massive equipment on our roads is something to be prevented. Now is our chance with writing a letter to the editor.

Nelson Mandela said to us to be mindful of “criticizing before understanding.”

Lynn Peters


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