STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Archive for July 30th, 2008

Tar Sands Risk Climate Catastrophe

Posted by mhudema on July 30, 2008

New sources of fossil fuel ‘risk climate catastrophe’

Russian oil plant

An oil plant: oil giants plan to explore more ‘unconventional’ sources

Oil giants including Shell and BP plan to extract fossil fuels from new sources that could trigger catastrophic climate change, a report warns today.

Pumping out tar sands and oil shale from reserves in the US and Canada is becoming increasingly attractive as oil prices soar, researchers say.

But refining the material is eight times more polluting than processing conventional oil, according to a report by WWF and Co-operative Financial Services.

Nonetheless, Shell and BP are planning to invest £62billion in ‘unconventional’ fuels by 2015, warns the study.

‘Unconventional fuel sources may seem attractive in the short term but ultimately the environmental and economic costs are unthinkable,’ said James Leaton of WWF-UK.

If the estimated 1.1trillion barrels of recoverable fuel in Canada and the US were extracted, it would release 980billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, it is claimed. This could push atmospheric CO2 levels well past the point believed to trigger dangerous climate change and mass extinction of species.

Mining tar sands – a mix of oil, water, sand and clay – will also damage substantial areas of Canadian forest which act as carbon sinks.

WWF and the Co-op are calling for a global halt to licensing the fuels and legislation to stop them being sold here.

But a BP spokesman said: ‘Oil sands represent a significant untapped resource from a politically stable country.’

And a spokeswoman for Shell said: ‘Supplies of “easy oil” cannot keep up with the demand growth.

‘Society has little choice but to add other sources of energy, including “unconventional” fossil fuels like oil sands.’

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Stop the Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on July 30, 2008

Oil: Campaigners seek an end to production of CO2-intensive ‘unconventional fuels’

· Ethical investment groups try to halt tar sand projects
· Oil firms to spend $125bn to exploit new sources

Shell, BP and other oil companies at the centre of the tar sands revolution in Canada are facing a backlash from the Co-operative and other members of the ethical investment community determined to bring a halt to these operations for environmental reasons.

A joint report from Co-operative Investments and the wildlife charity WWF released today will be followed up in September by a meeting of the UK Social Investment Forum (UKSIF) to press for an end to this carbon-intensive activity.

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Big Money, Big Worries

Posted by mhudema on July 30, 2008

Canada Has Green Concerns Over Oil Goldmine

Environmentalists Nervous About Profitable Northern Oil Production

July 28, 2008—

The earth beneath Fort McMurray’s pine and spruce trees holds as much oil as the United States, Russia and the United Arab Emirates combined.

In this booming Alberta, Canada, town, the rush to get that oil becomes obvious a couple hundred miles north of Edmonton, where the forest disappears into the largest industrial zone in the world, crawling with some of the largest trucks ever made.

Oil

Canada’s oil from sand production brings in big money.

(ABC News/Getty)

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Is CCS the Answer?

Posted by mhudema on July 30, 2008

Betting on carbon capture
CO2 storage could solve most of Alta.’s emissions problems — if it works
Archie McLean
The Edmonton Journal
This is the pipe that brings in the co2 gas from 320 miles away in North Dakota, ending at the EnCana Weyburn facility.
CREDIT: CNS
This is the pipe that brings in the co2 gas from 320 miles away in North Dakota, ending at the EnCana Weyburn facility.

Alberta’s climate change policy is under increasing global scrutiny.

With oilsands companies ramping up production and the province still heavily reliant on burning coal for power, greenhouse gas emissions will almost double from 2005 levels by 2050 without aggressive action.

To solve this problem, the Stelmach government is betting heavily on carbon capture and storage (CCS), a promising but largely undeveloped technology.

They are counting on CCS delivering a staggering 70 per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas reductions by 2050. That amounts to 139 megatonnes a year, roughly as much as the entire country of Argentina put into the atmosphere in 2004.

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Impacts of the Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on July 30, 2008

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/07/economic-environmental-costs-of-tar-
sands-unthinkable.php

Economic, Environmental Costs of Developing Tar Sands & Oil Shale “Unthinkable”: WWF-UK

by Matthew McDermott, Brooklyn, NY on 07.29.08

anti-tar sands protest action in calgary photo
Photo from a tar sands protest action in Calgary, January 2008 by Steve Loo via flickr.

We’ve written so many times about the unmitigated environmental disaster that is tapping unconventional sources of oil, such as Canadian tar sands and US oil shales, that the subject may be old hat to many TreeHugger readers. That said, a new report from WWF-UK has summed up just how bad the environmental impact of these projects actually is, that it’s worth passing on.

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