Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

"Scale of tar sands project impresses Ritter"

Colorado, unlike much of the US, cannot convince its commerce department and those involved in industry that it is alright to ignore Alberta's hydrocarbon devastation programs. Many have shown how the American media in publications such as the Washington Post or New York Times can be quite honest about the death of the land and air north of Fort McMurray and elsewhere. Not so in Colorado, where Coal Bed Methane operate poisoning ground water, where there are smaller yet significant tar sands deposits and most importantly, where the giant oil shale deposits (currently uneconomical and with a loss of energy) are continually experimented with. Therefore, the greenwash is starting "pre-emptively" in Colorado, and here is the governor of the state talking about a visit to Alberta-- with oil on his heart and dollar signs in his eyes.


Scale of tar sands project impresses Ritter
By David Milstead, Rocky Mountain News
Friday, November 16, 2007

Gov. Bill Ritter wrapped up his Canadian trade mission Thursday in northern Alberta with a trip to the province's "tar sands" in the morning and meetings in Edmonton in the afternoon.

Wednesday was spent in the southern part of the province, in Calgary, visiting with oil and gas companies.

Ritter called home to chat with Colorado reporters at midday. Here are some of his comments:

On Alberta's equivalent to the severance tax and a recent evaluation by the provincial government that would have raised rates:

The title was "Our Fair Share," but the people in the industry thought it was an unfavorable review. The government has (scaled back the royalty increase) from $2 billion to $1.5 billion, but there still is a real unsettled feeling among the industry representatives we spoke to.

On alternative energy:

The energy industry here is very much about oil and gas. Some companies have wind-farm construction, but I'd say it's not as active as in Colorado, as we've become in the last 10 months. So, I've talked about what we're doing to support alternative energy, as well as what the Western Governors' Association have done. . . . The Canadians were impressed with what we've done to date, and I believe we'll have follow-up conversations with Canadian companies looking at whether they can invest in wind or solar.

On the tar sands of northern Alberta:

One of the things that people are mindful of is what happens to the landscape with open-pit extraction. (In Colorado), we experimented - more than experimented - with that in the late 1970s, mining the shale and trying to separate it from rock and turn it into refinery quality. It was a very inefficient process. . . . (At the Albertan tar sands), it'll be decades before that landscape is fully reclaimed. Suncor, one of the companies operating there, has a commitment to reclamation, but people understand it'll take decades. It's a massive project, massive scale. It's a sight to behold.


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