STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Natural Resources Defense Council to Oil Companies: Stop Tar Sands Fuel

Posted by mhudema on June 17, 2008

Recently, 500 ducks mistook a lake of toxic tar sands waste in Alberta for one of the many pristine waters in Canada’s Boreal forests. Once coated with the oily residue, the ducks couldn’t fly away and they all died. Many had flown from the United States on their way to have their young in the Boreal. The deceptive waters of the enormous waste lagoons were likely too attractive for them on their long trek north. Tar sands oil is just as deceptive as a solution to our energy needs.

The death of 500 ducks was one more warning about harm caused by mining and drilling Canada’s Boreal forests for the tar sands oil that lies deep under the surface. Beneath the carpet of blue waters and green forests of the Province of Alberta, the tar sands are sand mixed with a sticky substance called bitumen. This bitumen – after using lots of energy and water – can be turned into synthetic crude oil, and from there into fuel for our cars, trucks and airplanes.

In addition to the problems of torn up forests and toxic lagoons, the process for making the synthetic crude produces three times the greenhouse gases per barrel as conventional oil production.

While companies like BP are posting record high profits, they are making others pay for the damage they are causing at the local and global levels. At a time when our government and the oil companies should be making major investments to kick our oil addiction, the big oil companies like BP, Exxon, Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips are wallowing in the tar sands. Instead of investing in clean energy in this time of declining world oil reserves, these companies are putting their resources into destroying critical wetlands, forests, local communities, and our global climate for the dirtiest oil.

And the tar sands footprint is growing, in Canada and beyond. Tar sands oil is sent to the U.S. Midwest and Rockies for upgrading and refining. U.S. refineries are proposing major expansions to handle promises of larger supplies. Last summer the BP refinery on the shores of Lake Michigan created a public uproar when its plan for tar sands expansion included dumping more pollutants into the Lake.

Join the Natural Resources Defense Council in saying no to tar sands fuel.

We’re supporting comprehensive federal legislation to fight global warming pollution and low carbon fuel standards such as what California has introduced, that make oil producers take the global warming pollution produced over the whole lifecycle of the fuel into account.

We’re asking for investments in clean energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation. We’re asking airlines and companies with large fleets to think about the environmental impact of how their fuel is produced. It is up to us to say we want a clean energy future and to take action to make that happen.

You can find out more on our website or

One Response to “Natural Resources Defense Council to Oil Companies: Stop Tar Sands Fuel”

  1. jsknow said

    Why not just end the energy lie?

    Marijuana can produce several different kinds of fuel. In the 1800’s and 1900’s hempseed oil was the primary source of fuel in the United States and was commonly used for lamps and other oil energy needs. The diesel engine was originally designed to run on marijuana oil because Rudolf Diesel assumed that it would be the most common fuel. Marijuana is also the most efficient plant for the production of methanol. It is estimated that, in one form or another, marijuana grown in the United States could provide up to ninety percent of the nation’s entire energy needs.
    Source: Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

    Hemp is 4 times more efficient than corn as biofuel. Hemp pellets can be used to produce clean electricity.

    … so powerful it could replace every type of fossil fuel energy product (oil, coal, and natural gas).

    … This plant is the earth’s number one biomass resource or fastest growing annual plant for agriculture on a worldwide basis, producing up to 14 tons per acre. This is the only biomass source available that is capable of producing all the energy needs of the U.S. and the world…

    Hemp will produce cleaner air and reduce greenhouse gases. When biomass fuel burns, it produces CO2 (the major cause of the greenhouse effect), the same as fossil fuel; but during the growth cycle of the plant, photosynthesis removes as much CO2 from the air as burning the biomass adds, so hemp actually cleans the atmosphere. After the first cycle there is no further loading to the atmosphere…
    Source: USA Hemp Museum

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