Grandma vs. the oil-sands mine.

Author:Graham, Kevin
Position:Liz Moore
 
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Eighty-five-year-old grandmothers aren't typically subject to censorship, but Liz Moore is no ordinary grandma. After touring an oil-sands operation in Canada, Moore returned to her home in Colorado and began researching the mining process. Eventually, she spent $3,600 on a website that chronicles the destructive environmental impacts of oil-sands mining.

"I was appalled at what I saw--the devastation of the land," she says of her visit to a Syncrude mine in Fort McMurray, Alberta. "I came home and decided people in the U.S. needed to hear about this, because we'll be buying more and more oil from Canada."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Soon legal threats arrived. The mining giant Syncrude Canada Ltd. and a branch of the Alberta government threatened legal action if Moore did not remove certain photos from the website, she says.

"It made me angry at a very deep level," Moore says. "I don't like censorship, and if it's done to me, I like it even less." Moore later learned that a release she signed before her tour gave the company the right to limit the use of her photos.

"Syncrude had a right to stop me," she says. "But it was still censorship." The oil-sands mining company saw things differently. "We see this as an issue of

copyright, accuracy and quality," a Syncrude spokesperson told the...

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