Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Politicians and Oil Companies Don't Get It

      I live in Alberta, Canada. We have the Athabasca tar sands which covers an area almost the size of the state of Florida , U.S.A.

     Some of  the bitumen produced by the tar sands is processed in Canada and some in the US. When we sell our bitumen to the US we don't get world prices. Therefore the Canadian Govt. the Alberta Govt. and big oil companies are lobbying for pipelines. One pipeline that has receive much publicity is the Key Stone XL pipeline which would take bitumen to Texas refineries.

    The approval for this pipeline has been held up for 6 years by various groups opposed to the pipeline.

    Now the Canadian Govt., Alberta govt. and big oil companies are their own worst enemy in this project.

    The present operations cover 715 sq km. It is the ugliest project on the face of the earth. Forests, waterways... everything is destroyed in the path of these mines. Gigantic plants are extracting the bitumen from the tar sands. There are major tailings ponds that contain all the water and chemicals used to extract the bitumen from the tar sands. The tailings ponds are disasters waiting to happen. Now if this doesn't register major environmental damage and climate change then I don't know what climate change is.

    Now the three groups I've mentioned just don't get why there's opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline or at least they say they don't understand. They have done a great job of stone walling and playing fast and loose with the numbers trying to show that the tar sands operations do not contribute huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Now if they were honest and presented a realistic case they may get a pipeline. They just don't realize that the rest of the world sees through their lies. When will they ever get it?

   Each company that starts a tar sands operation has to establish a fund for reclamation of the mines. (open pit) These funds are really quite small. There are promises made to reclaim the land. So far nothing has happened except a demonstration project of around 50 acre.

   The world looks at these open pit mines with horror.

    Alberta has a very dismal record of reclamation of oil wells that are finished producing. In many cases the wells are sold to smaller and smaller companies until somebody walks away and abandons the well. The last company to own the well has nothing that the government can have to pay for reclaiming the well. The Alberta government then has to reclaim the well. 

  Now I know this is a very incomplete description of the tar sands operation but I hope that I've given you an idea of how monstrous the project is and that it's far from environmentally suitable.

32 comments:

  1. the last couple of years, i learned more than i ever wanted to of bitumen and the toxic chemicals used to dilute it to push it thru transport pipelines. landowners are almost powerless to stop the corporations that line the pockets of the politicians on their way to getting their (right of) way.

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    1. I think we really have to take a look at how we vote. If we threw some of the bums out they might get the message.

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  2. It is immensely frustrating to watch these parties operate without giving a damn about the consequences of their actions, or considering long term viable solutions.

    The Prime Minister, if he's still around in thirty years, will simply shrug about whatever disaster that can be laid squarely at the feet of his time in office, and say, "well, it's unfortunate, but you know, these things happen. Who really cares?"

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    1. Harpers excuse is the economy which really means fix everything up for business. Forget about the people who voted for you.

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  3. I'm not in favor of the keystone pipeline and hope Obama sticks to his promise to veto the bill when it comes to his desk.

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    1. They build pipelines larger and larger but with all the modern technology they don't build them any safer.

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  4. I am aware of it, but now that Republicans are in control of both houses of Congress here in the US they will try everything to get it passed. And we only have two more years of Obama, and I'm desperate to keep a Dem in the White House for that very reason. Thanks for this information, Red.

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    1. This pipeline will be built. It's just a matter of when.

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  5. This is very good information to have. I have not delved into the whole pipeline issue so this helps me to understand why we should continue to resist the pipeline.

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    1. The government and big oil will push and ignore the real issue. They are going to get the pipeline sooner or later.

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  6. This is very depressing and the photographs are horrific.

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    1. I'm glad you looked at the photos. i couldn't find the ones I wanted that show vast areas that have been dug up.

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  7. These are decissions that one can hardly stop. Sometimes I think the world has gone mad to destroy all the nature....

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    1. These projects are hard to stop and necessary to a point but they have to take into consideration the harm being done. They can do much more to protect the environment.

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  8. Yep, I do completely understand and we simply allow it - no amt of demonstrations or yelling will help. The Govt does what they want. The PM and all the others are making money, they are greedy and really don't care, because at the end of the day their bank roll is that much sweeter and the world isn't going to fall apart before they get booted out, eh."WE, THE PEOPLE", UNDERSTAND.......POCKET MONEY AND BANK ROLLS CHOOSE TO IGNORE.

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    1. WE've really got to change our voting and throw the bums out.

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  9. Tough we really don 't have a say so, it is all money, not politics here.

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    1. It's money all over the place.the politicians are fools and let business push them around.

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  10. Greed is always the driving force behind disastrous decisions. Very sad.

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    1. You're so right as it's the money people are after.

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  11. Thank you Ted! This was both enlightening, and horrifying! It is difficult to know that the government cares little for the opinion of its people.

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    1. We have to change our voting patterns and kick the bums out.

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  12. You are right Red. Besides, with the present oil glut in the world, what is the big rush?

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    1. Business is aggressive. They are always ready to go on to the next project and make more money.

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  13. An excellent description for me from another viewpoint!

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    1. Look at some of the links I gave and you will see the total devastation that is taking place.

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  14. Keystone there and Enbridge here...the protests go on and on but the oil keeps flowing although now with the price on the down side things may slow down...we are only about 12 miles from the Enbridge project:)

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    1. The technology is there to have much safer pipelines but it costs more money.

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  15. Here in West Virginia we see the devastation of the mountains to strip mine coal. If it isn't one thing it's something else somewhere. Some days one just feels powerless as to what to do other than just what you mention - think hard when we vote!!!

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  16. I don't know much about Keystone or oil production, but my husband worked for the U.S. E.P.A. and he did say that the waste generated by oil manufacturing is horrendous. However, there is the constant clamor for oil so what do you do?

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