Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Alberta (& Saskatchewan) Tar Sands

Alberta (& Saskatchewan) Tar Sands

Alberta Tar Sands is a category limited to the location and production of tar sand bitumen, an area the size of the state of Florida in northern Alberta province. The giant processing plants near Fort McMurray where the land itself is strip mined as well as the primarily "in situ" in-ground steam separation/production and extraction plants in the Peace and Cold Lake Regions, all in Alberta, are the "Ground Zero" of the single largest industrial gigaproject ever proposed in human history.

The process of removing the tar from the sand involves incredible amounts of energy from clean-burning natural gas (with nuclear proposed along side), tremendous capital costs during build up, incredibly high petroleum prices to protect investments, and the largest single industrial contribution to climate change in North America. Production also involves the waste of fresh water from nearby lakes, rivers and aquifers that have already created toxic tailing ponds visible from outer space. None of the land strip mined has yet to be certified as reclaimed. It takes 4 tonnes of soil to produce one barrel of oil. The tar sands are producing over 1.2 million barrels of oil a day on average. The oil companies, Canada and the United States governments are proposing to escalate production to 5 million barrels, almost all destined for American markets-- and lower environmental standards while doing so. They also would need to violate the national and human rights of many indigenous nations who are rightly concerned about many dire social, environmental and economic repercussions on their communities.

To get the needed energy supplies, diluent for the bitumen and diverted freshwater to produce and then to transport the flowing heavy bitumen for refining would require massive new infrastructure and pipeline building from three different time zones in the Arctic, across British Columbia and through Alberta in a criss-cross pattern, into pipelines to such destinations as California, China, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Ontario, Illinois, Wisconsin and Texas. This entire project is now estimated at over $170 billion dollars. And after the whole process described so far, only then will all this dirty petroleum get burned and expel greenhouse gasses into the air causing further climate change.

Alberta Tar Sands is a category limited to the location and production of tar sand bitumen, an area the size of the state of Florida in northern Alberta province. The giant processing plants near Fort McMurray where the land itself is strip mined as well as the primarily "in situ" in-ground steam separation/production and extraction plants in the Peace and Cold Lake Regions, all in Alberta, are the "Ground Zero" of the single largest industrial gigaproject ever proposed in human history. The process of removing the tar from the sand involves incredible amounts of energy from clean-burning natural gas (with nuclear proposed along side), tremendous capital costs during build up, incredibly high petroleum prices to protect investments, and the largest single industrial contribution to climate change in North America. Production also involves the waste of fresh water from nearby lakes, rivers and aquifers that have already created toxic tailing ponds visible from outer space. None of the land strip mined has yet to be certified as reclaimed. It takes 4 tonnes of soil to produce one barrel of oil. The tar sands are producing over 1.2 million barrels of oil a day on average. The oil companies, Canada and the United States governments are proposing to escalate production to 5 million barrels, almost all destined for American markets-- and lower environmental standards while doing so. They also would need to violate the national and human rights of many indigenous nations who are rightly concerned about many dire social, environmental and economic repercussions on their communities. To get the needed energy supplies, diluent for the bitumen and diverted freshwater to produce and then to transport the flowing heavy bitumen for refining would require massive new infrastructure and pipeline building from three different time zones in the Arctic, across British Columbia and through Alberta in a criss-cross pattern, into pipelines to such destinations as California, China, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Ontario, Illinois, Wisconsin and Texas. This entire project is now estimated at over $170 billion dollars. And after the whole process described so far, only then will all this dirty petroleum get burned and expel greenhouse gasses into the air causing further climate change.

New hopes that tar sands could be banned from Europe

New hopes that tar sands could be banned from Europe

Landmark EU fuel quality directive gets a reprieve, opening the way for more-polluting tar sands oil to be taxed at a higher rate effectively pricing it out of the market

Arthur Neslen in Brussels

Thursday 19 February 2015

A landmark directive with the potential to ban tar sands oil from Europe has been reprieved, the Guardian has learned.

The EU’s most senior energy official confirmed that the fuel quality directive (FQD) to encourage greener road fuels will not be scrapped at the end of the decade, as had been thought.

Shell Withdraws From Largest Tar Sands Project Yet

Shell Withdraws From Largest Tar Sands Project Yet

by Ari Phillips Posted on February 25, 2015

"Shell Withdraws From Largest Tar Sands Project Yet"

Keystone XL is not the only deciding factor in the future of tar sands extraction.

Anti-tar sands activists in the U.S. are getting visits from the FBI

Anti-oil sands activists in the U.S. are getting visits from the FBI

Alexander Panetta

WASHINGTON — The Canadian Press

Published Saturday, Feb. 07 2015

Unexpected visitors have been dropping in on anti-oil activists in the United States — knocking on doors, calling, texting, contacting family members.

The visitors are federal agents.

Opponents of Canadian oil say they’ve been contacted by FBI investigators in several states following their involvement in protests that delayed northbound shipments of equipment to Canada’s oilsands.

Shell shelves plan for Pierre River tar sands project in face of low oil prices

Shell shelves plan for tar sands project in face of low oil prices

Withdrawal from the Pierre River project is the latest in a series of blows to industry reliant on high cost production struggling with oil prices at six-year lows

Shell has shelved plans for a major new tar sands mine in Canada, the largest project yet to fall victim to low oil prices.

The company has withdrawn its application for the 200,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Pierre River project and will instead concentrate on boosting the profitability of its existing 255,000-bpd oil sands operations.

Shell hits back at 'carbon bubble' claims

Shell hits back at 'carbon bubble' claims

Oil and gas company publishes 20 page document telling investors that climate laws will not leave it with 'stranded assets'

John Vidal
theguardian.com, Tuesday 20 May 2014

Canada’s $207,000 tar sands ad: Putting a price on deception

Canada’s $207,000 oil sands ad: Putting a price on deception

Eric Reguly

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, May. 09 2014

The ad in The New Yorker is pretty, if not quite arresting. The full-page photo on the inside back cover – prime real estate in the United States’ leading upmarket magazine – features a pristine river meandering through a lush mountain valley, untouched by humanity. It is not a tourism ad. It is designed to convince influential Americans that the Keystone XL pipeline is environmentally safe, even desirable.

Tar Sands May Have Caused Sickness That Forced Families From Homes, Canadian Regulator Says

Tar Sands May Have Caused Sickness That Forced Families From Homes, Canadian Regulator Says

By Emily Atkin
April 1, 2014

Karla and Alain’s Labrecque's children, now living happily and healthily in British Columbia after a year of unexplained sickness in Peace River, Alberta.

Published with permission of Karla and Alain Labrecque

Karla and Alain’s Labrecque’s children, now living happily and healthily in British Columbia after a year of unexplained sickness in Peace River, Alberta. Published with permission of Karla and Alain Labrecque

New York Times writer credits Vancouver Observer investigation into tar sands spying

New York Times writer credits Vancouver Observer investigation into oil sands spying

In an op/ed piece "Is Canada Tarring Itself?" - a famed US author links to Vancouver Observer's work exposing the Harper government's extensive spying of groups opposed to the oil sands.

Mychaylo Prystupa
Posted: Apr 1st, 2014

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