Refineries in the Great Lakes Basin are rapidly expanding to accommodate crude oil from the Alberta oil sands. This 2008 POWI conference, “How the Oil Sands Got to the Great Lakes Basin: Pipelines, Refineries and Emissions to Air And Water,” was intended to provide an opportunity, in a university setting, to inform public opinion about the impacts of refinery expansion in the Basin, drawing on data analysis, shared information and public discussion. Emphasis was placed on the cumulative effect of refinery expansions on water quality, air quality and human and non-human downwind communities in the Basin. The conference provided a bilateral opportunity for interactive public comment and dialogue from experts involved in a wide range of disciplines. The conference began with a presentation of the conference paper by the author, journalist David Israelson. Panel members representing government, environmental sciences, law, non-government organizations, academia, industry and the business community shared points of view on issues relating to the refinery expansion. The discussion was webcast live and a record of the conference proceedings, including questions and answers, is now available on the POWI website for on-demand viewing (see link below).