STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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The New Boom: 60 Minutes Australia

Posted by mhudema on July 16, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008
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Reporter: Liam Bartlett

Producers: Nick Greenaway and Glenda Gaitz

We don’t have to tell you about the world fuel crisis, we all feel the pain every time we drive into a service station.

But here’s something you may not know.

There is an answer and part of it’s right here in our own backyard.

We are talking about shale oil.

There are huge deposits here in Australia, just waiting to be exploited.

Then there are oil sands, which are already being mined on a massive scale in the wilds of Canada.

It’s an amazing sight, this new frontier.

With tales of untold riches and untapped oil, enough to last more than a hundred years. But, as Liam Bartlett discovered, there is a catch.

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Sands of Time

Posted by mhudema on July 13, 2008

The Sands of Time?

The rocketing rise in the cost of a barrel of oil could, at least in theory, favour attempts to develop alternatives to this declining (and rather dangerous) resource. Having said that, it could also make things worse by encouraging people to exploit what were, until recently, regarded as marginal deposits. One such are the tar or bitumen sands of Fort McMurray in Alberta (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jul/11/fossilfuels.pollution) that could, in theory, make Canada the second largest oil producer in the world. The trouble is that the tar sands are messy to extract.

470 square km of forest were removed to get access to the deposits, giant excavators are used to remove the sand and masses of water are used to separate the oil from the sand. The last activity results in great lakes of toxic waste. Even worse, although it is estimated that obtaining a barrel of conventional oil generates 30 kg of carbon dioxide, a barrel of tar sand oil produces about a 120 kg. This could rapidly turn Canada from one of the ‘good boys’ in terms of greenhouse gas generation to a serious offender. It is natural that Canadians argue that they currently produce relatively little carbon dioxide per capita and that they need the oil profits for their economy to grow.

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Toxic Tailings

Posted by mhudema on July 11, 2008

Toxic tailings from the tar sands

Alberta Environmental Resources Conservation Board’s new directive worse than useless.

Dateline: Monday, July 07, 2008

by Ricardo Acuña for Vue Weekly

The Alberta Government, along with their friends in the oil industry, have recently embarked on a major campaign to educate Canadians and Americans about the fact that extraction of oil from Northern Alberta’s bituminous sands is actually an environmentally friendly and ecologically sound process.

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