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.

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.

Hedges on Bill C-51 and resistance in Canada

Chris Hedges on C-51: They have won, and it is up to us

By
Chris Hedges
March 17, 2015

This is the speech Chris Hedges would have delivered at the Toronto protest against Bill C-51 on Saturday, if he had made it to the city in time. Weather delayed his plane, but rabble.ca was able to obtain the text of his address and present it here.

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.

Koch's use economic downtime to buy up tar sands

Koch company buys up more oil sands licenses in Canada
Jenny Uechi
Mar 12th, 2015

Koch Oil Sands Operating ULC is buying up more licenses in Alberta's oil sands, Oilsands Review reported today.

"Bulletin records show that 15 licences were issued on March 3, 2015, for operator Koch Oil Sands in the Cadotte area," the Review reported.

Oilsands leases comprised $21 million of the $44.67 million generated by Alberta's Wednesday land sale.

CNRL lectures tar sands producers on costs

Cut costs or face ‘death spiral,’ CNRL warns oil sands

PETER SCOWEN

FORT McMURRAY, ALTA. — The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Feb. 19 2015

The president of one of Canada’s biggest oil and gas producers delivered a stern warning to the oil sands industry, telling a room full of Fort McMurray business people that they need to start cutting costs or the industry will fall into a “death spiral.”

The “made in Fort McMurray cost” of doing business has risen too quickly and must end, Steve Laut of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. told members of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Tar sands campaigners are Canada's new 'terrorists'

Tar sands campaigners are Canada's new 'terrorists'

Pete Dolack

5th March 2015

Canada's 'Anti-Terrorism Bill' proposes a massive increase in the power of security services, writes Pete Dolack - and in the crosshairs are campaigners against a tar sands industry that's intent on releasing 240 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, and those fighting the pipelines needed to get the heavy crude to market. Who are the real 'extremists'?

Koch brothers' tar sands connection revealed

Koch brothers' tar sands connection revealed

U.S. billionaire duo's huge stake in northern Alberta fields more than Conoco, Exxon and Chevron put together

by Enzo DiMatteo

March 4, 2015

A map released by the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization (IFG) shows that the U.S. billionaire Koch brothers own more of the Alberta tar sands, some 890,000 hectares (2 million acres), than oil and gas giants Exxon, Chevron and Conoco combined.

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.

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