STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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The Real Price of Tar Sands Oil

Posted by mhudema on January 27, 2008

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/25/AR2008012503001_pf.html
Saturday, January 26, 2008; A16

Enbridge, a Canadian company, seeks to build a pipeline to carry synthetic crude oil from Alberta, Canada, into southern Illinois [news story, Jan. 16]. Of the many problems with this project, the greatest one stems from the energy approach driving its construction: bitumen extraction from Alberta’s tar sands.

Tar sands oil is produced through a destructive process that has deplorable consequences. Extraction and processing of just one barrel of synthetic crude oil from bitumen requires up to five barrels of fresh water and 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas. The gasoline yield from that single barrel is only enough to fill a Chevrolet Avalanche’s tank three-quarters full.

The environmental impact is severe. In 2007, greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands plants were roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 27 million American passenger vehicles. High levels of carcinogens in fish, water and sediment have been found downstream from tar sands areas.

Meanwhile, annual production of tar sands oil from Alberta is expected to at least triple by 2015, fueled principally by U.S. demand.

While no one enjoys reliance on OPEC oil, the alternative of a pending environmental catastrophe is intolerable.

BRIAN P. GRANAHAN

Staff Attorney

Environment Illinois Research

and Education Center

Chicago

Environment Illinois Research and Education Center has intervened in the Illinois Commerce Commission case in which Enbridge seeks approval of its pipeline project and the acquisition of land via eminent domain.

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One Response to “The Real Price of Tar Sands Oil”

  1. […] mhudema wrote a fantastic post today on “The Real Price of Tar Sands Oil”Here’s ONLY a quick extractThe gasoline yield from that single barrel is only enough to fill a Chevrolet Avalanche’s tank three-quarters full. The environmental impact is severe. In 2007, greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands plants were roughly equivalent to … […]

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