By DaVe on Sep 4, 2009 in Current Events
Duluth/Superior is mentioned in this article about the pipeline which will bring Tar Sands Oil through town. Go here.
Enbridge pipeline was formerly Lakehead and before that …???
Here are just a few incidents that I know of.
While I think the tar sands are awful I can’t believe, with their track record, these people area allowed to transport anything.
i hear they’re having a lot of trouble pulling the stuff out of the ground. too thick.
they have to heat it up considerably to work it through the pipes.
Sorry for the stream of links but here is a great article from last years
National Geographic about oil sands.
I want to be against this project, but it is hard to oppose when it is going to help the local economy, although it will most likely harm the environment. Will Murphy Oil’s expansion in Superior still happen if this pipeline is stopped? And is there any real chance that this pipeline will be stopped?
The analogy I heard: getting this Tar Sand oil to flow is like trying to get peanut butter to flow through a pipe.
I guess the tar sands are either basically strip-mined, scooped into trucks and then the oil and sand are separated elsewhere using huge amounts of fresh water and natural gas. Or they use natural gas and lots of water to inject steam underground and separate the oil from the sands. Work has already begun on the pipeline, so they must be confident it will move through a pipe. Too bad the local economy can’t be stimulated with green jobs, but the Obama administration pushed this through on the fast track.
“Too bad the local economy can’t be stimulated with green jobs”
And thanks for the links. I am going to have to educate myself on this issue, but from what have you posted, the process seems to use a lot of fresh water, and that concerns me.
We’ve adopted Canada’s national shame.
Dave, Jeff was talking about it @ work the other day…his brother is up there working right now, trying to figure out some of the problems they’re having with extraction…I’ll have him link up here and give a run down of what’s on.
If you drive a car, ride a bus, fly in airplanes, ride a bike, wear clothes or shoes, live indoors, eat, or live, you are as responsible for the harvest and transport of tar sand oil as the evil corporations. While I am, in theory, “super left-like”, I know that my lifestyle depends almost completely on the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. I am just so damn tired of this “I’m not responsible/They suck” false paradigm. I AM responsible, and so are you. Please, admitted your addiction is the first step toward recovery.
(I sincerely hope I don’t sound holier-than-thou, because I am, in fact, dirtier-than-thou)
Vicarious- you’re absolutely right, but tar sands oil has 3 times the carbon foot print of regular dirty oil, and trashes a lot of clean water as well. That said, your point is well taken, we’re all dependent, even if it’s just for heating our homes ( not everyone can heat with wood, which has its own drawbacks) or by relying on products shipped from all over the place. We’re an extractive culture and I don’t have any big answers aside from what most of us already know. On a hopeful note, some friends of mine have a greenhouse with a solar thermal system- they can keep it at 60 degrees F. in the dead of winter WITHOUT A STOVE! When we don’t have any other choices humanity might still survive at these latitudes using that sort of technology.
True. We are all really dirty. No serious person thinks we can stop using fossil fuels anytime soon, if ever. One who rides a bike or drives a Prius has no right to feel holier-than-thou and look down on those who drive SUVs. Instead they should find ways they are still responsible (like by driving their Prius) for the degradation of everybody’s only planet earth. There are many ways we are all complacently complicit.
However, I can use oil and be appalled by the Alberta Oils Sands. (I would suggest everyone to read the piece by National Geographic that ChadP posted a link to). By making a massive long range capital investment in a pipeline to ship the dirtiest oil in the world we are linking our energy infrastructure and local economy to a disgrace that needs to end.
This pipeline proves that even though we say we want our long range investment to be in clean energy, we are in fact doubling down on fossil fuels in a way that will keep us dependent for decades to come. Citizens in a democracy have both the responsibility to determine the consequences of their own actions, and to take responsibility for the major long range actions undertaken as a community. So the least I can do is express my outrage.
Has anybody thought about the impact of a leak into the largest body of fresh water on this side of the world?
Or is fresh drinking water not an option.
Why is this happening?
Shell Halts Mining as Activists Protest Oil Sands
Canada’s Becoming a ‘Global Carbon Bully’
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