“Canadian crude.” This is the language used in a new “mobile” website launched by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments at the opening of the 2013 Energy and Mines Ministers Conference. Canadian Governments appear to have adopted the most generic description possible for bitumen that is wrenched or sucked from the earth in Northern Alberta
4RG and environmental organizations use the words “tar sands” as these words refer to the commodity that is actually extracted. The fossil fuel industry uses the words “oil sands”, as bitumen is ultimately processed into oil.
Tar sands bring to mind the words “dirty oil”. Even oil sands has negative overtones. If Canadian Governments succeed in introducing the generic term “Canadian Crude” it will successfully distance the product from its origins.