STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Archive for January 12th, 2008

‘The Biggest Environmental Crime in History’

Posted by mhudema on January 12, 2008

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By Cahal Milmo

Published: 10 December 2007

BP, the British oil giant that pledged to move “Beyond Petroleum” by finding cleaner ways to produce fossil fuels, is being accused of abandoning its “green sheen” by investing nearly £1.5bn to extract oil from the Canadian wilderness using methods which environmentalists say are part of the “biggest global warming crime” in history.

The multinational oil and gas producer, which last year made a profit of £11bn, is facing a head-on confrontation with the green lobby in the pristine forests of North America after Greenpeace pledged a direct action campaign against BP following its decision to reverse a long-standing policy and invest heavily in extracting so-called “oil sands” that lie beneath the Canadian province of Alberta and form the world’s second-largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia.

Producing crude oil from the tar sands – a heavy mixture of bitumen, water, sand and clay – found beneath more than 54,000 square miles of prime forest in northern Alberta – an area the size of England and Wales combined – generates up to four times more carbon dioxide, the principal global warming gas, than conventional drilling. The booming oil sands industry will produce 100 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent to a fifth of the UK’s entire annual emissions) a year by 2012, ensuring that Canada will miss its emission targets under the Kyoto treaty, according to environmentalist activists.

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Environmentalists target jet fuel derived from Alberta oilsands

Posted by mhudema on January 12, 2008

Gordon Hamilton, January 11, 2008, Vancouver Sun — An American environmental lobby group launched a campaign Thursday against airlines using fuel derived from the Alberta oilsands, using the same tactics that proved so successful in limiting clearcut logging in B.C. rainforests.

The Washington D.C.-based Natural Resources Defense Council said it is pressuring 15 major U.S. and Canadian airlines to publicly oppose the use of jet fuel made from oilsands, liquefied coal and shale oil.

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Stelmach defends oilsands’ environmental record

Posted by mhudema on January 12, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Alberta is a leader in protecting the environment, premier Ed Stelmach said Thursday, taking exception to a report card from two lobby groups that gave the oilsands industry a failing grade.

Stelmach rejected the conclusions of the report from the Pembina Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. It gave northern Alberta 10 oilsands plants an average mark of 33 per cent, with nine of the 10 projects receiving a failing grade. The industry uses too much water and pumps out too much greenhouse gas, the report said.

“The government of Alberta and all of the oilsands operators work closely to ensure we take a leadership role in environmental technology [and] research,” the premier said in defence of his government’s record. “The kind of technology we do here is something can be applied in many other provinces in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Pembina Institute pointed out that while individual oilsands companies have reduced the intensity of their emissions, overall emissions are increasing as the industry expands.

The province has not set a target date for overall reductions.

Syncrude, one of the largest companies in the oilsands, also slammed the report card in which it tied for last place among the 10 firms surveyed. Syncrude and Synenco Energy scored 18 per cent.

“We obviously don’t agree with their assessment. In fact, we consider ourselves a leader in sustainability in the oilsands industry,” Syncrude spokesman Alain Moore said.

The report ranked Albian’s Muskeg mine the highest, with a 56 per cent grade.

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