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Old 02-19-2008, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Alberta Oil Sands

I just stumbled across an article on a pretty sad project in Canada: The Alberta Oil Sands.

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Here's a few facts about the Alberta Oil Sands:

Oil sands mining is licensed to use twice the amount of fresh water that the entire city of Calgary uses in a year.

- At least 90% of the fresh water used in the oil sands ends up in ends up in tailing ponds so toxic that propane cannons are used to keep ducks from landing in them.

- Processing the oil sands uses enough natural gas in a day to heat 3 million homes in Canada.

- The toxic tailing ponds are considered one of the largest human-made structures in the world. The ponds span 50 square kilometers and can be seen from space.

- Producing a barrel of oil from the oil sands produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions than a barrel of conventional oil.

- The oil sands operations are the fastest growing source of heat-trapping greenhouse gas in Canada. By 2020 the oil sands will release twice the amount produced currently by all the cars and trucks in Canada.
That's pretty incredible, and sad. Just another reason to reduce our dependency on oil. As the price goes up, it will become easier for us to neglect the environment.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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but canada is required to sell us a set percentage of their oil! I was thinking it was 40% but it might be more, either way in order for them to stay afloat I'm sure they feel like they need to squeze more out in any way that they can.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenKreton View Post
As the price goes up, it will become easier for us to neglect the environment.
Definitely. High prices cause people to grasp at straws nomatter what the negative effect.

Here's some fun quotes from another gasoline-minded forum:

Quote:
The oil companies wanted to [drill in the Arctic] 5 years ago, the tree huggers in congress said no! We could be producing this oil now. If you hug trees, don't complain about $3.00 gas . . .
Quote:
I LOVE MY CARBON FOOTPRINT!
Quote:
I can guarantee you if the next president does not bring it down to 2.50 or below he is not getting a 2nd term. Americans wont put up with 3.00-3.40 permanently.
Sounds like people are already becoming desperate and reckless.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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GenKreton -

Every time I think I know how bad it is, there's a new wrinkle on the stupidity of vested interests. In terms of pollution, I wonder how this compares to the gasification of coal?

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Old 02-19-2008, 05:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yikes.... It's not that it's more difficult to refine... I mean, they're refining it aren't they? It's just more expensive....

If I recall, Canada is the number 1 exporter for oil to the US. Interestingly, US is #3 oil producer in the world, but only has 2% of the planet's oil reserves... yikes again!
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There is more oil in Canada then Saudi Arabia, it's just more complicated to get it out.

It took so long before they started extracting it because it did not make economical sense. With the price of oil skyrocketing, oil extraction in Canada can only go in one sad direction.

I work for a company that (among other things) manufactures/distributes those fracturing units that inject water into the ground.

I find it sad that the best (most economical) process they came up with to get the oil out is so damaging for the environment.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Those quotes sadden me deeply
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well if you're pro-nuke guess where some of the next nuclear reactors are planned to be built? I'm not, but if I were pro-nuke, I'd be elated. Nuclear waste vs toxic emissions vs a giant sized drop in consumption. BTW, anything produced there can technically be labeled as synthetic according to one article I read on it.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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On top of all that the conservative party will never do anything substantial about it. Too bad we're stuck with them for a while. Stephane Dion showed a lot of green when campaigning for the liberals leadership. He's a great guy, he gets the work done, but there's something wrong about him, he doesn't have it in front of the camera. Can you say no charisma?

I deeply hate my administration for not signing Kyoto.

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