05/16/2013 09:03 EDT | Updated 07/16/2013 05:12 EDT

New Website Launches to Counter Industry's Tar Sands Spin, which launches today, offers fact-checked, easy to understand information about Canada's tar sands. Created by academics, economists, scientists and international environmental organizations, the website counters misinformation spread by government and Big Oil's glossy, inaccurate PR campaigns.

Canada was once known as a leader for environmental responsibility. Today our global reputation is in tatters thanks to the reckless expansion of the tar sands, which continues to be Canada's black eye.

Our out of control expansion of the tar sands is why we abandoned international promises on climate change. It's why our environmental laws have been trampled, and why the health of impacted First Nations communities is being ignored. It's the reason our scientists are muzzled. It's also why our economy is precariously tied to the volatile price of oil. (Everything that booms can go bust). And it's why government and industry have the pedal to the metal on a full-fledged PR and lobby campaign in Canada, the US and Europe designed to spread misinformation to try to convince the world that the tar sands aren't all that bad.

Canadians deserve the truth about the tar sands. We need to look past the spin. It's time for a reality check.

That's why Environmental Defence joined academics, scientists, economists and other environmental organizations to launch This website presents the 25 most important facts you need to know about the tar sands. provides up-to-date, peer-reviewed,easy to understand information about the impacts of the tar sands on our climate, economy, water, air, land, animals and communities.

Big Oil's PR machine doesn't want Canadians to know facts that could get in the way of their bottom line. But the truth is the tar sands are Canada's fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution, and they're standing in the way of a future based on safe, clean and sustainable energy that Canadians (and the world) deserve, a future that will be safer for our children and grandchildren.

Shifting away from polluting fossil fuels won't just benefit the environment. It will help the economy and create more jobs. If we took the Canadian taxpayers' money now subsidizing the tar sands and instead invested in renewables, we would create eight times more jobs in the clean energy sector.

More and more Canadians are speaking out against the reckless expansion of the tar sands.

Our movement is growing. We have stood up, challenged, delayed and defeated projects that no one thought we could. We have halted Enbridge's Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline in its tracks. We have taken the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from being a 'no-brainer' to being a defining issue of a presidency. We have put the risks of expanding the tar sands on the agenda at government meetings and editorial boards.

We can't stop now. Plans for expanding the tar sands continue. Big Oil continues to pay for glossy ads in magazines and billboards. We need our voices to grow, become louder, and stronger until we put an end to the reckless expansion of the tar sands.

And we can't do it without you. How can you help? By encouraging more people learn the dirty truth about the tar sands. Visit and share the website with your friends, family and colleagues. Share your favorite Reality Check facts on Facebook or Twitter and ask your friends to do the same.

We're not stopping at the website. is the first stage in a renewed effort to clear the air. In the coming months, we'll be working with allies in Europe, the United States, and Canada to punch through the spin and give Big Oil a reality check with new information, events and efforts to engage more people in the growing movement.

No amount of PR spin can hide the dirty truth about the tar sands. - The truth starts here.

Our partners in this project include: Equiterre, Forest Ethics Advocacy, Greenpeace Canada, Natural Resource Defence Council, Transport and Environment, and

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is Canada's most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.