Neil Young rails against the tar sands, calls Fort McMurray a wasteland
Neil Young has compared Fort McMurray to Hiroshima, Japan, and described the Albertan town as “wasteland”.
Talking about biofuels, the viability of electric cars, and tar sands developments (also known as oil sands), the rock ‘n’ roll legend took issue with the Government of Canada’s characterization of the country’s oil as “ethical”. He then launched into an empassioned argument claiming that harvesting oil from the tar sands is harming nearby towns.
“The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima,” Young said. “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 peoples up there are threatened by this.”
He continued: “This is truly a disaster and America is supporting this.”
Young was speaking in Washington D.C. at an event for the National Farmers Union on September 9.
In 2009, Young was awarded the Order of Canada, which is billed as the country’s highest civilian honour.