Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

You won't believe the title of this far right wing article...

This is rather, ahem, self explanatory...
Especially when you read the bio of the author, on a site with several ex-Fox writers.


Alberta Heavy Crude to be World’s cleanest production
By Mark Smyth Monday, June 30, 2008

For those who were not aware of the joint statement from the 76TH ANNUAL U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS in Miami this past week, to boycott Canadian gasoline made from oil sands heavy crude, pay very close attention.

Some who read my article in Monday’s CFP, e-mailed letters, some of which seemed to indicate I am a rightwing, pro-oil junkie. How wrong they are! I have used alternate fuels for 26 years in private and commercial vehicles and driven over 1 million miles ( 1 1/2 million kilometers ) on LPG--known as propane.

First, read the article published under my byline on Monday, June 30, 2008 in Canada Free Press ”American Big City Mayors don’t want Canadian gasoline” about how clean the gasoline and diesel fuel is when it is made from the heavy bitumen that is the oil sands of Alberta. It is a cleaner final product than fuels made from conventional oil wells because it is upgraded before refining into final light products such as gasoline.

Over the past couple of years, the Province of Alberta and the major oil sands companies operating there, have planned to go nuclear for virtually all production and power needs in the world’s largest oil patch. The cities and towns of the far north of Alberta, will all benefit from the cleaner air and lower cost of oil field production. Now they are using natural gas to heat the process and refinery stage of very heavy bitumen crude. Even nuke power is cleaner than natural gas, which is much cleaner than half the power produced in the USA from dirty coal. How many refineries in the USA use local electric power made from dirty coal?

Monday’s article referred to the big U.S.city mayors as “stupid”. But I should have written that they were “lazy" because they didn’t search on the internet for the true facts and seem ignorant because they don’t know how their own gasoline refined in USA-based refineries are powered. Mostly coal power is what helps those American refineries to run because those mayors and their previous counterparts, have given very cheap sweetheart electric industrial power from coal fired power plants. I did say “ignorance was bliss”.

Natural gas has almost doubled in price over the past 1 1/2 years and has become too expensive for power production in the Alberta oil patch. Nukes look cheap now that higher oil prices almost guarantee the Alberta oil sands will continue for many decades.

Mini nuclear plants suitable for the small population centers of Fort McMurray, Alberta, would benefit from lower pollution from nukes. Huge amounts of energy are required in these northern climes just to warm up the very thick bitumen to pipe it through the pipelines to the upgraders before going to the refineries for the final process.

Mini nuke plants can be built in 18 months and Alberta may give permission in 2008 for 2 of these nuke power plants to get the go-ahead. It is something Alberta and the major oil companies have considered for many years. With high natural gas prices, there is a stronger push to rush the nuke plants to completion. Even big oil likes to save money on production costs if they can do it the green way. The natural gas they don’t burn for power, and heating the cold thick oil to ship it through the pipelines and heating the bitumen underground, can be sold at a later date for export to the USA or through the NG pipeline, which runs from Alberta to the British Columbia coast, for ocean shipping.

This natural gas is super compressed into a liquid form shipped as LNG ( LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS ) to China or even India.

Possibly the world’s first commercial mini nuke plant started operating in the Province of Ontario over 40 years ago. I will not disclose where it is located except to say that it is hidden underground. This mini power plant is so small that you could call it a mini-me that glows in the dark.( Sorry, Vern ) It powers only 3 government buildings. It is hidden in a vault smaller than most 2-car garages. It’s hidden in a Taliban-free zone.

Now back to Alberta and its oil and natural gas production environmental concerns.. Over the next few decades, a mini nuke plant will be cheaper and cleaner to operate than relying on natural gas. When, not if, this is done, Alberta’s oil and gas industry will become much cleaner than other oil production in other countries which use coal or diesel fueled generators for electrical power for refineries. Let’s not forget that the supply problem of diesel fuel around the world, is causing huge cost jumps in factories and delivery of food and manufactured goods in ships, railways and delivery trucks.

One major Japanese company is now building a mini nuke plant at this moment in the USA. It will power a town of less than 1,000 people. It will be producing electrical power before the end of 2009. One French type of nuke plant allows you to hold the coated uranium pellets in your bare hand. It is referred to as a "pebble" plant. The open minded power company looking for bids for the nuke plants in Alberta, will only buy the best nuke plant. They are not limited to only Canadian designed nuke plants.

Let’s not forget that the sun is the world’s first nuke plant. You can even get a sun tan from it. Toast anyone? You look MARVELLOUSSS DARLING.

A former member of the S.A.E. (Society of Automotive Engineers), Mark Smyth has had a lifelong love for machinery. Driving a tractor on his family farm at age 4, he raced boats and cars during the 1960s and 1970s, both powered by gasoline and alcohol fuels. Having even used hydrazine (rocket fuel) as a fuel additive in drag racing, Mark learned all about synthetic lubes from a chemist who developed the very first synthetic lube oils to be certified for U.S. military specs back in 1952. He can be reached at: letters@canadafreepress.com


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