1942 wasn't so different from the present — wars were raging, the U.S. military was hugely dependent on oil, and Canada had some, in the form of tar sands. Back then the only problem was that conventional oil was still far too abundant to make extracting oil from the tar sands economically viable. (U.S. production of crude didn't peak until the 1970's.) But now it's 2011, and hey, problem solved!