Canadian oil sands pollute nearby lakes. Report is blow to Keystone pipeline.

Oil sands production in Canada has contaminated surrounding lakes with substances linked to cancer, according to a new study. The scientific findings may help the case against building Keystone XL, a pipeline that would connect Canadian oil sands with American refineries.

By David J. Unger, Correspondent / January 8, 2013

A worker holds a cup of crude oil to be tested at the Cenovus Foster Creek SAGD oil sands operations near Cold Lake, Alberta, in this July 2012 file photo. Production at the Athabasca oil sands has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, reaching about 1.5 million barrels a day in 2010.

Production at the world’s third largest source of oil has polluted surrounding waters with toxic substances, according to a new study. The findings add fuel to a fiery debate over a proposed pipeline connecting Canadian oil sands with US refineries.

Lakes as far as 56 miles away from production facilities near Fort McMurray, Alberta, show unnaturally high levels of substances linked to cancer. Researchers say they are the result of roughly half a century of development at the Athabasca oil sands.

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