STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Archive for June 19th, 2008

Residents Say NO to Upgraders

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

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EDMONTON _ Plans for massive multibillion-dollar projects in an area of Alberta known as Upgrader Alley are galvanizing opposition from landowners and residents who fear they are about to be surrounded by polluters.

Some fear toxic emissions will foul the air. Others say existing petroleum and chemical plants northeast of Edmonton are already belching too many harmful substances.

Still others are using the term “cancer alley” for the portion of Sturgeon County where the sprawling upgraders that transform gooey bitumen into synthetic oil are being built.

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Albertans missing out on the benefit of soaring oil prices

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

Royalty cap ensures firms aren’t paying top dollar for this natural resource

Diana Gibson and David Thompson
Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oil prices didn’t always used to make headlines, but they have now quadrupled in the last four years and doubled since just last summer.

In fact, prices have been increasing so fast that it’s hard to find decent graphs showing oil prices over the long term.

Oh, there are many price graphs. But most are terribly out of date. Many were produced prior to March, when oil cruised past the $100/barrel “psychological barrier.”

Remember that barrier?

No doubt oil prices will fluctuate in the future. They will go down. And then up, and much higher than they are today. Growing demand and a limited global supply will see to that. It’s not a question of if, but when.

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McCain to Get his Hands Oily

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

McCain’s Mission to Ottawa

US, Canada need to forge a less oily relationship.

View full article and comments here http:///Views/2008/06/19/McCain/

By Aaron Freeman and Matt Price

Published: June 19, 2008

John McCain will take the stage in Ottawa on Friday to try to draw a clear line between himself and Barack Obama on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). You’ll remember that Obama and Clinton mixed it up during the primary race about who would go further in renegotiating the trade deal to strengthen labour and environmental standards. McCain, by contrast, wants to portray himself as a free trader, no holds barred.

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Residents say no to Upgraders

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

Residents speak out over latest project in Alberta’s busy ‘upgrader alley’

EDMONTON — Landowners and residents are speaking out against the latest in a growing list of upgrader projects for an area northeast of Edmonton known as Upgrader Alley.

People in Sturgeon County are intervening in provincial hearings to review the $14-billion Petro-Canada (TSX:PCA) upgrader project.

Anne Brown and Maureen Chichak both know several people in the area who have cancer, including two farmers who both died of lung cancer even though neither man smoked.

The women say they fear the already tainted air in their rural community will become even worse with more upgraders.

Petro-Canada spokesman Peter Symons says the hearings will allow all stakeholder concerns to be heard and the plant will be built with the best available emissions technology.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has already said there will be a cap placed on total emissions in the industrial heartland region.

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Pinch Points in the tar sands

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

Oil-Sands Projects Slowed by Scrutiny, Group Says (Update1)

By Ian McKinnon

June 18 (Bloomberg) — Labor shortages and increased regulatory scrutiny are slowing development of Alberta’s oil sands, home to the largest reserves outside the Middle East, Canada’s largest producer group said.

The country’s daily production is estimated to reach about 4.47 million barrels a day by 2020, or 5.7 percent below last year’s estimate, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said today in a statement. The Calgary-based group predicted 4.74 million barrels in 2007.

Questions about Alberta oil-sands royalties and federal rules on capturing carbon dioxide, a gas linked to global warming, are also lengthening schedules, Greg Stringham, a vice president at the lobby group, said today in Calgary.

Project sponsors “are making the $1 billion decisions, they just need a little more certainty to make the $10 billion decisions,” Stringham told reporters at an energy conference. “The ultimate potential for the oil sands remains unchanged, it just means we’re going to take longer to get there.”

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Foreign Workers and the tar sands

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

Abuse of foreign workers unavoidable, Alta. Tories suggest
Elise Stolte
Canwest News Service

EDMONTON – Some abuse of foreigners working temporarily in Alberta is unavoidable because of conditions in their home countries, Alberta’s minister of Employment and Immigration suggested Wednesday.

Hector Goudreau was reacting to news that as many as 120 Chinese workers were paid a fraction of what they were owed for work building tanks at a northern Alberta oilsands site.

The concerns became public only after two of the workers were killed on the job.

When their widows were contacted in China, the wages they said their husbands were taking home were less than 12 per cent of what they should have been paid.

Further research showed the right amount was paid into each employee’s bank account, but disappeared before it reached families in China.

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Tar Sands: environmental destruction at its worst

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

The Flow Must Go On

Amid major flooding in the Midwest that marks a break from normal weather patterns, President Bush comes out in favor of offshore drilling. It’s easy to make Bush an environmental straw man (sometimes I find myself wondering what childhood trauma he’s avenging), but Bush is really only the messenger of the oil and gas lobby.

How are oil companies responding to global warming, beyond their absurd greenwashing PR campaigns?

On Saturday, we saw the effects of their campaign to ignore global demands for protections of the polar bear. Just before the polar bear won threatened status in May, the federal government sold oil leases to ConocoPhillips Co., Shell Oil Co. and others. In what was clearly a tit-for-tat arrangement set up with the companies behind closed doors, Bush announced Saturday that the companies would get a pass on harming polar bears in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, where nearly 10 percent of all surviving Arctic polar bears live. Here’s a picture:

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Tar Sands Destruction Set to Grow

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

Alberta Tar Sands to Increase Output 250% Over Next 10 Years

by Michael Graham Richard, Gatineau, Canada on 06.18.08
Science & Technology (alternative energy)

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Alberta Canada Tar Sands chart image

Alberta Tar Sands
Not all barrels of oil are created equal. Some take more energy and more water to get out of the ground than others, and tar sands, aka bituminous sands or extra heavy oil, are at the “extra dirty” end of the spectrum. So it’s not exactly good news for the environment to learn that a significant portion of the strong demand for oil in the next 10 years will be met by hydrocarbons from Alberta.

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Turning Water into Oil

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

Turning Water into Oil

Posted on June 18, 2008.

This Dilbert comic exaggerates the absurdity of some people when it comes to obtaining sources of energy. Dilbert’s boss couldn’t be serious about wanting to turn water into oil. As Dilbert points out, it would turn the world into an uninhabitable wasteland in the long run. However, the idea of sacrificing water for oil isn’t that far-fetched. This article explains that for each barrel of oil produced from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, between two and 4.5 barrels of water are needed. Water is essential for extracting oil from the tar sands. The Alberta government has approved the withdrawal of 119.5 billion gallons of water, mainly from the Athabasca River, for tar sands extraction. Extraction companies are required to return only 10 billion gallons of water to the river.

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Want High Gas Prices? Invest in Tar Sands!

Posted by mhudema on June 19, 2008

June 18, 2008

Posted by Josh Mogerman in Moving Beyond Oil

ConocoPhillips, gas, refinery, tarsands

Prices at the pump are hitting us all pretty hard. Everyone is looking for a quick fix. And everyone is looking for someone to blame.

NRDC’s recent win against the ConocoPhillips Wood River Refinery air permits gave a target to some folks with a troubling agenda.

Last week a U.S. EPA appeals board sided with NRDC and the American Bottom Conservancy, effectively rejecting permits that were too lax. The decision probably set a precedent that other refinery expansions will need to live up to from here on out to keep more dangerous pollutants out of the air in nearby communities. While we have a lot of problems with the stuff that this facility will be refining, the case was all about forcing this $4 billion expansion project to live up to the rule of law. At a time of record oil company profits, we really should not ask kids in East St. Louis to pay the refinery’s environmental costs with asthma and the folks in Alton deserve the same environmental protections enjoyed by Californians. The law says best available technology is required—and that is where you will find it.

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