STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘wwf’

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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Impacts of the Tar Sands

Posted by mhudema on July 30, 2008

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Stelmach defends oilsands’ environmental record

Posted by mhudema on January 12, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Alberta is a leader in protecting the environment, premier Ed Stelmach said Thursday, taking exception to a report card from two lobby groups that gave the oilsands industry a failing grade.

Stelmach rejected the conclusions of the report from the Pembina Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. It gave northern Alberta 10 oilsands plants an average mark of 33 per cent, with nine of the 10 projects receiving a failing grade. The industry uses too much water and pumps out too much greenhouse gas, the report said.

“The government of Alberta and all of the oilsands operators work closely to ensure we take a leadership role in environmental technology [and] research,” the premier said in defence of his government’s record. “The kind of technology we do here is something can be applied in many other provinces in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Pembina Institute pointed out that while individual oilsands companies have reduced the intensity of their emissions, overall emissions are increasing as the industry expands.

The province has not set a target date for overall reductions.

Syncrude, one of the largest companies in the oilsands, also slammed the report card in which it tied for last place among the 10 firms surveyed. Syncrude and Synenco Energy scored 18 per cent.

“We obviously don’t agree with their assessment. In fact, we consider ourselves a leader in sustainability in the oilsands industry,” Syncrude spokesman Alain Moore said.

The report ranked Albian’s Muskeg mine the highest, with a 56 per cent grade.

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Canada oil sands projects flunk green test-groups

Posted by mhudema on January 11, 2008

Reuters, Thursday January 10 2008

By Jeffrey Jones
CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Canadian oil sands mining projects, seen as a key source of North American energy supply for decades to come, have been given poor environmental marks in a report released on Thursday, with even the best performer barely garnering a passing grade.
Environmental groups Pembina Institute and World Wildlife Fund surveyed 10 Alberta oil sands ventures, including seven yet to start producing, for attention to land, air emissions, water, climate change and overall environmental management.
Authors of the study called on the government to set more stringent limits on water use, emissions and impacts on wildlife and public health.

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