Sierra Club Statement on Tar Sands Tour with Leonardo DiCaprio and Darren Aronofsky

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Thursday, August 28, 2014
Maggie Kao, 202-675-2384 or

Alberta, Canada -- Last week, Oscar-nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-nominated and acclaimed film director Darren Aronofsky toured Alberta, Canada's tar sands region with the Sierra Club's executive director Michael Brune to witness firsthand the effects of oil drilling and strip mining operations on the environment and surrounding communities. The group toured Suncor's oil operations outside of Fort MacMurray, explored the Athabasca River basin, and met with the Athabasca Chipewyan and Mikisew Cree First Nations in the remote village of Fort Chipewyan.

Sierra Club Executive Director, Michael Brune, issued the following statement:

"The tar sands mining operations in Alberta are destroying whole landscapes, turning once verdant old growth forests into sterile badlands, and devastating the lives of traditional peoples who live next door.

"Tar sands oil is the dirtiest oil there is, three times as bad for our climate as conventional oil. Investing in fossil fuels is like building a bridge to the 19thcentury. We are already building an economy based on clean energy that is creating more jobs than building pipelines or strip mining forests for oil.

"It was an honor to experience the tar sands and meet the chiefs of First Nations communities whose traditional lands are threatened by tar sands with Leonardo DiCaprio and Darren Aronofsky. I look forward to DiCaprio's upcoming documentary because the world needs to know about the devastation being caused by tar sands development. I also look forward to marching with Darren Aronofsky at thePeople's Climate Marchin New York City on September 21, where we will let world leaders know that the American people support immediate action on climate disruption."


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit

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