What If ... Oil was left in the sand?

oil sands 2

What if there had been no ancient ocean to cover northern Alberta? What if no sea life had died, decomposed in the silt and turned into a kind of hydrocarbon molasses? What on earth would people do in Fort McMurray on a Saturday night ? We imagine a life without the oil sands. And -- Geologists can be so cruel. But the man they once mocked as Dry Hole Hunter would show them all.

(Photo credit: CP/Jeff McIntosh)

This is a special edition of The Current coming to you from Calgary.

Part Three of The Current

What If ... Oil was left in the sand?

In our previous half hour, we talked about the oil sands as a game changer for the people of Alberta, for Canada, and beyond. And while few would dispute that characterization - many will fiercely debate whether it has changed the game for the better or worse.

The Current producer Liz Hoath has been exploring this. She was in Vancouver.

Music Bridge

Artist: The Dears
Cd: Gang of Losers
Cut: # 9, Whites Only Party
Label: Maple Music
Spine: MRCD 6459

Last Word - Dry Hole

We've been talking today about the stunning impact of the oil sands. But a long time before anyone began squeezing the hard quartz of the north, prospectors were moiling for oil in Alberta. It wasn't until 1947 that the first big discovery would utterly transform the provincial economy.

Don Hunter remembers that time. He worked in the industry for decades and volunteers at the Leduc Number One Energy Discovery Centre just outside Edmonton. He got the last word today.

Other segments from today's show:

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