Actually, an interesting bit in the comments:
Levant spent the majority of his lecture covering the four criteria, calling the word “tarsands” a politically-engineered phrase that acts like a tell in poker: “When you hear it, you know someone with an agenda is about to speak,” he said.
When I was in high school, more than 40 years ago, the deposits were known as tar sands. There was, IIRC, a mastodon preserved in the tar sands and the same geology in other parts of the world was referred to as tar sands or tar pits.
So - no engineering, political or otherwise, nor an agenda for those that use the term tar sands.
I'm not quite that old, but that's how I remember it as well. For example, the La Brea Tar Pits, which I believe is what the guy above is thinking of.
PS. Confirmed here by wikipedia.