We live in a society where it is impossible to live a functional lifestyle and not consume products made from petro-chemicals every single day. As such, the notion that environmentalists -- such as Neil Young for example -- have no right to criticize oil sands developments, pipelines or fracking because they "choose" to heat their homes and drive cars is downright nonsensical.
Environmentalists and union activists should be making common cause by explaining how tar sands profits that go to the rich and powerful cost Canadian workers hundreds of thousands of jobs. Expansion of the tar sands and the resulting bouts of Oil Sands fever may be good for capitalists but it will further weaken the job market and do great harm to Canadian workers.
Alberta's premier Alison Redford has been trying to drum up support for a Canada-wide energy strategy, one in which she'd like the whole country to work in concert to maximize the value of our plentiful energy assets. But when she asked for Ontario to join her with some simple, symbolic support for the oil sands, Premier McGuinty gruffly refused.