Tar sands destroying Alberta's environment

It takes two tons of tar sand to produce just one barrel of oil Tons of rock have to be hauled from the open pits and crushed into smaller particles. Then the oil has to be extracted from the tar sand either by hot-water processes, solvents, or thermal means. The extracted oil has to be further refined into fuel oil. The whole process is expensive. Syncrude Canada spends about $12 to produce a barrel of oil. By contrast, the Saudis spend only $1 for every barrel of oil produced.

Mining and refining tar sand is also very dirty. Syncrude Canada emits 240 tons of sulfur dioxide a day, twenty-five times the amount emitted by a conventional refinery producing the same amount of oil in Texas.

Mining and processing tar sand require a large amount of water [and natural gas], meaning that less water is available for other purposes, including farming, residential, and commercial uses. Moreover, the water must e heated. Once recently study forecasts that by 2010 nearly 25 percent of Alberta's produced gs will be used just to heat the water to melt the bitumen. Water shortage has become a lightning-rod issue among environmentalists in recent years and is likely to intensify as more water is used to process tar sand. ...

The CO2 content in the atmosphere today is approximately 31 percent greater than it was in 1750, at the onset of the fossil-fuel ear. That concentration, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has not been exceed in the past 420,000 years and likely not in the last 20 million years. The increase of CO2 concentration, according to the panel, is without precedent in the past 20,000 years. Nearly 75 percent of the increase in CO2 concentrations in the past twenty years is attributable to the burning of fossil fuels...

The increase in carbon dioxide is responsible for more than 70 percent of the global warming effects...

The Hydrogen Economy, Jeremy Rifkin

Share this with your friends