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.

Alberta Health Board Fires Doctor Who Raised Cancer Alarms (John O'Connor)

Alberta Health Board Fires Doctor Who Raised Cancer Alarms

'I am stunned,' says Dr. John O'Connor, a veteran presence in First Nations community.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 11 May 2015, TheTyee.ca

An Alberta health board has fired Dr. John O'Connor, the physician who came to national prominence after raising questions about rare cancers in the tarsands region.

The Nunee Health Board Society send O'Connor a letter last Friday saying it no longer required his professional services.

Koch brothers go deep in Alberta tar sands

Koch brothers go deep in Alberta tar sands

Few people know how central this country's oil riches have been to the U.S. Big Oil billionaires' vast fortune. Most of their tar sands holdings remain untouched, but that may soon change.

by Bruce Livesey for NationalObserver.com

May 6, 2015

Fort McKay, Alberta, a hamlet of 700 citizens, hugs the Athabasca River a half-hour's drive north of Fort McMurray. It's home to the Fort McKay First Nation band.

Harper government alters climate targets; protects tar sands

Harper government alters climate targets, but protects oil sands
By Mychaylo Prystupa | May 15th 2015
National Observer

The Harper government is pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, but in a way that does not affect the oil sands emissions - the largest source of Canada's climate warming pollution, say environmental critics.

Oil Spill on Beaches of World’s ‘Greenest City’

Bunker (Fuel) Down
Oil Spill on Beaches of World’s ‘Greenest City’
by MACDONALD STAINSBY

Vancouver, British Columbia, Coast Salish Territories

Weekend edition, April 10-12, 2015

Cutting the crud: Debunking five Big Oil myths

Cutting the crud: Debunking five Big Oil myths
By Steve Cornwell
| March 12, 2015

The Harper government and Big Oil have been spouting some colourful myths about how vital the tar sands industry is for Canada. The jobs! The money! The environment!

Can't we just cut the crud and get down to the dirty truths? Why yes we can.

Let's debunk the five biggest myths about the tar sands.

Myth #1: The tar sands industry is great for Canada -- look at all those jobs it creates!

Canada Losing $30+ Bn a Year on Tar-Sands Oil

Consider the right wing source and revel in the take down of Stephen Harper.

--M

Canada Losing $30+ Bn a Year on Tar-Sands Oil

April 8, 2015
By Sprott Money

Oil is our most-precious commodity as fuel for the global economy. It is also becoming a scarce commodity, as global production has flattened, while global demand continues to climb relentlessly, everywhere in the world except for the dying economies of Europe and North America. It is a classic “seller’s market.”

Environmental groups take aim at Alberta tar sands emissions

Environmental groups take aim at Alberta oil sands emissions

SHAWN McCARTHY

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Apr. 09 2015

Rising greenhouse emissions from Alberta’s oil sands would swamp Ontario’s effort to fight climate change through a carbon-pricing plan, says a report issued in advance of the provincial climate summit to be held in Quebec City next week.

Grassroots Dene people defending the land in northern Saskatchewan

Grassroots Dene people defending the land in northern Saskatchewan
By Scott Neigh
| March 25, 2015

On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, I speak with Don Montgrand and Candyce Paul. They are grassroots Dene people living in northern Saskatchewan, and they talk with me about the Northern Dene Trappers Alliance and its efforts to defend the land and to defend the Dene people in the face of companies and governments pushing predatory resource extraction.

Quebec students launch anti-austerity, pro-environment 'social strike' and movement

Quebec students launch anti-austerity, pro-environment 'social strike' and movement
By Roger Annis

March 25, 2015
Rabble Blog

Post-secondary students across Quebec have launched a “social strike” and protest movement opposing hikes in tuition fees and other austerity measures of the Quebec provincial government. They are also condemning the destructive environmental policies of the Canadian and Quebec governments.

Environment: New tar sands rules too weak to protect the Athabasca River

Environment: Canadian Citizen groups say new tar sands rules too weak to protect the Athabasca River
Posted on March 14, 2015

by Bob Berwyn

Staff Report

FRISCO — A set of proposed new water rules has unleashed a storm of protest in Canada, where citizen and conservation groups charge that the government is giving away the store to energy companies exploiting the tar sans of Alberta.

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