STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Tar Sands – the new toxic investment

Posted by mhudema on September 17, 2008

Environment: Tar sands – the new toxic investment

Report warns against oil industry’s equivalent of the sub-prime mortgage crisis

Shell and BP have been warned by investors that their involvement in unconventional energy production such as Canada’s oil sands could turn out to be the industry’s equivalent of the sub-prime lending that poisoned the banking sector and triggered the current financial crisis.

The criticism came as a report was released yesterday warning of the potential financial risks of tar sands, and members of the UK Social Investment Forum met in London to consider a Co-op Investments campaign on halting oil industry involvement in the carbon-intensive oil projects.

The report, BP and Shell, Rising Risks in Tar Sands Investment, co-authored by Greenpeace and fellow campaign group Platform, argues that oil majors are trying to make up a shortfall in conventional reserves by an irresponsible dash to extract oil from bitumen and other sources.

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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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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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Who Will Pay for BP Refinery

Posted by mhudema on July 17, 2008

Northwest Indiana Times
Who will pay for the BP expansion?
By Bessie Dent | Thursday, July 17, 2008
The BP Refinery in Whiting has the go-ahead to build a $3.8 billion “upgrade” to process tar sands from Alberta, Canada — a dirty, inefficient, and expensive process from beginning to end.
Producing one barrel of tar sands oil requires removing an average of four tons of earth, uses between two and 4.5 barrels of water, and consumes enough natural gas to heat a family home for two to four days. The resulting barrel of “oil” is actually a barrel of asphalt.

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Video: Toxic Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on July 12, 2008

Video: John Vidal asks the oil firms tough questions on their plans for exploiting Canada’s tar sands
What happens when the world’s biggest oil companies target a northern wilderness? John Vidal heads to Canada to ask some tough questions of the oil industry and its intentions in northern Alberta

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Shell Cancels Tar Sands Refinery

Posted by mhudema on July 10, 2008

Shell cancels Canadian tar sands expansion

July 9, 2008

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An oil giant that planned to refine the same Canadian tar sands as BP Whiting has canceled plans for an expansion in Ontario.

Shell Canada is scrapping a proposed refinery project in Sarnia, which would have turned tar-like crude from oil sands in Alberta, Canada, into refinery-ready light oil, the company announced Tuesday.

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Consumers at fault for high prices says BP

Posted by mhudema on July 1, 2008

Oil giant blames consumers, not speculators, for soaring prices
Shaun Polczer
Canwest News Service

MADRID – Much-maligned speculators aren’t to blame for soaring oil prices, the head of Anglo oil giant BP PLC said Monday.

Rather, it’s consumers who have pushed demand for energy to new heights that are the cause of runaway crude prices, Tony Hayward told the inaugural session of the 19th World Petroleum Congress.

The rookie CEO of the world’s second-largest oil company said sky-high crude prices are “completely based on fundamentals,” and characterized speculators as “investors” rather than profiteers.

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BP Lied in Reporting

Posted by mhudema on June 29, 2008

Study: Emissions greater than in BP initial Reports
June 29, 2008
By Gitte Laasby Post-Tribune staff writer
BP has said publicly it will increase emissions of several air pollutants by more than 20 percent when the modernized Whiting refinery is complete in 2011.
But pollution released into Northwest Indiana’s air could be much worse than that, according to a report BP commissioned and submitted to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The Post-Tribune obtained the report under a public information request.
The oil giant has said its emissions of tiny smoke and soot particles — which can cause asthma, heart attacks and premature death — would increase by 114 tons in 2011 compared to 2006.

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A Licence to Wreak Environmental Havok

Posted by mhudema on June 15, 2008

This project is a licence to wreak environmental havoc

Monday, 10 December 2007

This week BP announced it is buying a 50 per cent stake in Husky Energy’s tar sands development project in Alberta, Canada, to produce more than 200,000 barrels by 2020. The move in effect signals the company is ready to participate in one of the most environmentally destructive projects on the planet.

Canada’s tar sands are second only in size to the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, with more than 149,000 sq km an area larger than all of England (130,410 sq km). Tar sands are a mixture of sand, clay and bitumen, a heavy tar-like substance that can be converted into oil. Instead of simply drilling a well, the tar sands must be strip-mined in giant open pits or mined underground with in situ technologies that inject super-heated water into the ground.

The process is very water and energy intensive. A barrel of tar sands oil requires up to five times more energy to produce than a conventional barrel and results in five times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The US-based World Resources Institute estimates the tar sands will soon match the entire carbon dioxide emissions of the Czech Republic. By 2020 the tar sands are expected to release more than 141 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, or more than the emissions currently produced by all the road transport in the UK 125.3 million tons in 2002).

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