STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘stephen harmer’

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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