It's been a controversy for months now and there's no sign of it letting up.
To get to the core of the debate, 10/11 News takes you straight to the oil sands of Alberta, Canada to see it all up close.
We are working to give you every angle, whether you agree with it or not. Our job is to provide context and clarity.
Alberta, Canada is home to a huge chunk of oil sands. There's so much of it, it's hard to fathom. It's been here for eons.
To get to it, oil companies tear the earth apart, (strip mining) or force it out of the ground using hot steam.
It's called bitumen and once it's upgraded or thinned out, it's sent down a pipeline.
It's the same stuff that when processed into heavy crude could be flowing through Nebraska, if the proposed Keystone XL pipeline becomes a reality. And even though a decision on the pipeline has been delayed, that doesn't mean the controversy is over. It's far from it as the Governor recently made clear. Nothing has been won, only more time for opponents and proponents to make their case.
One place we visited is an operation run by Statoil, a Norwegian company. They pull oil sands out of the ground through a process called in situ mining, sending steam down into the earth and loosening up the bitumen so it can flow upwards and out.
Long story short, it's a massive operation and one that requires a lot of energy and manpower.
To learn more, watch our video. There is also a place called the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which offers some details of the process.
There are various web sites that discuss it in further detail.
Watch 10/11 News for a week-long series of Special Reports, where we take you "Behind the Line."