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Neil Young Takes Heat for Strong Criticism of Oil Sands, Keystone

By Dan Weil   |  

Rock veteran Neil Young is receiving flak in his home country of Canada for intense criticism he launched against Canadian oil sands production and the Keystone XL oil pipeline while in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

Oil sands output has made part of Alberta into a "wasteland" that "looks like Hiroshima," Young said, according to The Hill. "I am against the Keystone pipeline in a big way."

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver responded that while he's a fan of Young's music, "on this matter we disagree, because Keystone XL will displace heavy oil from Venezuela, which has the same or higher greenhouse gas emissions, with a stable and secure source of Canadian oil," the Canadian Press reports.

Greg Stringham, vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, also defended the industry against Young, saying that advocates on the issue can freely express their opinion, but he'd like to make sure it's an informed opinion, according to the Canadian Press.

Melissa Blake, mayor of Fort McMurray, the town Young called a "wasteland," also took issue with his remarks. "The community's reaction is inevitably not happy, probably outraged, because it's such a gross misrepresentation," she said, according to CBC News.

To be sure, some environmentalists expressed support for Young's comments.

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Rock veteran Neil Young is receiving flak in his home country of Canada for intense criticism he launched against Canadian oil sands production and the Keystone XL oil pipeline while in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Oil sands output has made part of Alberta into a "wasteland"...
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