Environmentalists setting up anti-oilsands training camp in Calgary

There is going to be a big fight over this rapidly growing development as its external costs become more widely known-

Environmentalists setting up anti-oilsands training camp in Calgary.  By Kelly Cryderman, Canwest News Service

For more information, here is the blog “Oil Sands Watch.” It has interesting information like “Oil Sands Development Could Claim More Than 160 Million Boreal Birds.”



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  1. kt Avatar

    One thing we need to keep in mind: Development of Oil Sands in Canada is also related to some of the proliferation of utility corridors in the western U. S.

    The havoc to water, migratory birds, etc. that Oil Sands development would wreak should be part of the cumulative impacts analysis of power lines built to transport any Oil Sands energy into and through the U.S.

    There had been one corridor proposed called Northern Lights – it may have morphed into something else. There is so much buzz about a grid and energy “infrastructure these days – the question is: How much of grid really is needed? Is part of what is going on things like facilitating the destruction of Alberta so huge oil/tar sands companies can profit?

    Here is an article that talks about nuclear reactors to process the tar sands.


    This all is insane – are transmission line corridors aiming to send electrical energy north to process oil sands? Are electrical companies here racing to compete with nuclear reactors in Alberta to do this?

    This all is madness. Time to have a vision for the future that relies on locally generated and locally “consumed” de-centralized energy, and conservation. Not giant transmission lines, giant wind farms, tar sands destruction and the western part of the continen laid to waste.

  2. kt Avatar

    Check this Wiki article out. Especially the part about Royal Dutch Shell and its involvement in tar sands.


    THEN recall that Jan. 16. 2009 , as one of his last actions as Interior Secretary under Bush, Dirk Kempthorne issued an Order that would enable fast-tracking huge industrial wind farms and mega-transmission corridors that would chop up remote BLM lands through setting up a spelcial office to speed authorizations through.

    AND then recall that the Armbinder Blog that only a week ago floated the trial balloon (let us hope it was a Graf Zeppelin) that Dirk might be a 2012 Repub. Presidential candidate – was awash in Royal Dutch Shell Logos.

    See: http://oxdown.firedoglake.com/diary/3247

    Is part of what is going on with the orchestrated media mania for a tremendous explosion of transmission lines– from the Dems, too – really about ripping up the West to transport energy to and from the Alberta tar sands?

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    kt and all,

    To extract the oil precursor (bitumen) from the tar “oil” sands (it’s not oil yet), takes a great deal of energy. As a result, the net energy produced, is much less than with conventional petroleum. In addition, it appears that the negative by-products (externalities) produced are larger, thus, adding even more to the actual cost of this new way of getting oil.

    It seems like to get more usable (net) energy of every kind is requiring a higher percentage of total energy go into its extraction/production. With corn ethanol it isn’t even clear than net energy is much greater than zero.

    Few politicians of either party understand this. Certainly the public doesn’t.

    Here are the basics on tar sands.

    Doing all this and cleaning up the mess ought to produce a lot of jobs, although quite likely not very much net wealth.

  4. Daymon Balser Avatar

    Sounds like the Oil Shale debacle of the 1970’s

  5. kt Avatar

    Here is a Suncor propaganda pamphlet – a PDF that takes a bit of time to open. It mentions how Mr. Pew – Yep that is where the PEW Wilderness Campaign and Charitable Trusts and all the rest of that lot’s billions come from.

    http://www.suncor.com/default.aspx?cid=767&lang=1 – 60k

    Then see:


    THIS mentions how PEW has set up front groups – to sugarcoat its actions and get what it wants.

    “The International Boreal Conservation Campaign (www.interboreal.org) is another front group established by the Pew Charitable Trusts, much like the Canadian Boreal Initiative (www.borealcanada.ca). The Pew family built the original tar sands project, which became Suncor. Although the Pew family no longer owns Suncor, the family company Sunoco continues to refine much synthetic crude oil”.

    Here is what an ecologist has to say about tar sands:

    “”There is nothing on this planet that compares with the destruction going on there,” said David Schindler, an ecology professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. “If there were a global prize for unsustainable development, the oil sands would be the clear winner.”

    THEN check this out – It made my blood boil. It is entitled:

    Suncor’s Real Agenda in the Tar Sands: Conservation “Offsets”


    “Let me give you a concrete example. With the addition of new pipelines and infrastructure, California could be a strong potential market for oil sands crude. But we face a clear barrier due to a recent executive order requiring that fuels sent into that state contribute to a targeted 10% reduction in the carbon content of all passenger vehicle fuels by 2020.

    California’s objective is laudable – to better manage greenhouse gas emissions. But the reality is that the light sweet crude they are pinning this initiative on is in decline. They’ll figure that out at some point. And when they do, heavy oil and oil sands producers need to have our own carbon house in order through investments like capture and storage technology, further energy efficiency measures and carbon offsets right through our value chain.”

    Now to the Wilderness Production business. Imagine if the Compromised-Wilderness Campaigns in the U. S. being funded by PEW were really in part about getting quid pro deals that privatize key public lands and the like, AND that “zone” public land in to “special” and non-special places. With the non-special places – including released WSAs – then being opened up for Corridors, renewable and non-renewable development, part of what Ken Salazar referred to as public land “assets” recently. By pouring large amounts of funding and media into compromised Wilderness, it distracts and divides the conservation movement – from effectively dealing with all the kinds of assaults on the public lands.

    This is what I thought when I first started Googling PEW doings a couple years ago, and learned that they had set up front groups to legitimize tar sands in Canada. We have to factor all of this into the current political mania over Corridors and energy infrastructure.

  6. kt Avatar

    Here is a Post on a Climate Blog about the tar sands.


    It’s just horrendous. We get 18% of our oil from Canada. Then you look at the Republican idiots in the Idaho legislature, who kill mass transit in the Boise – Nampa area year after year. Now there is the Stimulus Bill, where if there were proposals already to go for mass transit here, they might be funded. But NO – the Idaho Republicans would rather cost who knows how many lives in traffic accidents from people driving on the clogged interstate, and contribute to destruction of the boreal forest and bird life to boot – for them, that is likely a bonus.


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Ralph Maughan