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“The biggest environmental crime in history”

That, my dear reader, is the title of the Independent article I read Sunday evening in my inbox. Somehow, I wasn’t surprised to see that it was about British Petroleum..aka BP. It’s the description a Canadian drilling project which environmentalists and people with a modicum of common sense brand BP’s method of ‘extraction’. From the Indy article:

BP, the British oil giant that pledged to move “Beyond Petroleum” by finding cleaner ways to produce fossil fuels, is being accused of abandoning its “green sheen” by investing nearly £1.5bn to extract oil from the Canadian wilderness using methods which environmentalists say are part of the “biggest global warming crime” in history.

The multinational oil and gas producer, which last year made a profit of £11bn, is facing a head-on confrontation with the green lobby in the pristine forests of North America after Greenpeace pledged a direct action campaign against BP following its decision to reverse a long-standing policy and invest heavily in extracting so-called “oil sands” that lie beneath the Canadian province of Alberta and form the world’s second-largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia.

Producing crude oil from the tar sands – a heavy mixture of bitumen, water, sand and clay – found beneath more than 54,000 square miles of prime forest in northern Alberta – an area the size of England and Wales combined – generates up to four times more carbon dioxide, the principal global warming gas, than conventional drilling. The booming oil sands industry will produce 100 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent to a fifth of the UK’s entire annual emissions) a year by 2012, ensuring that Canada will miss its emission targets under the Kyoto treaty, according to environmentalist activists.

For decades, technology has tried to figure out a way to extract the oil from these tar sands. Evidently someone is tired of waiting wouldn’t you say? Another precious resource will be sucked up in order to extract this oil:

The oil rush is also scarring a wilderness landscape: millions of tonnes of plant life and top soil is scooped away in vast open-pit mines and millions of litres of water are diverted from rivers – up to five barrels of water are needed to produce a single barrel of crude and the process requires huge amounts of natural gas. The industry, which now includes all the major oil multinationals, including the Anglo-Dutch Shell and American combine Exxon-Mobil, boasts that it takes two tonnes of the raw sands to produce a single barrel of oil. BP insists it will use a less damaging extraction method, but it accepts that its investment will increase its carbon footprint.

BP is lying its collective ass off when it says anything about using a ‘less damaging’ method of extraction. It would cost them more money and BP is nothing if not cheap when it comes to safety and environmental concerns, judging from their past history of fuck-ups and..ahem..accidents. GreenPeace’s climate and energy guru has said this about BP and the tar sand extraction plans:

“It takes about 29kg of CO2 to produce a barrel of oil conventionally. That figure can be as much 125kg for tar sands oil. It also has the potential to kill off or damage the vast forest wilderness, greater than the size of England and Wales, which forms part of the world’s biggest carbon sinks. For BP to be involved in this trade not only flies in the face of their rhetoric but in the era of climate change it should not be being developed at all. You cannot call yourself ‘Beyond Petroleum’ and involve yourself in tar sands extraction.”

If none of this pisses you the hell off…consider the logic of BP’s PR executive regarding the project:

“These are resources that would have been developed anyway.”



Take a gander at the remains of the BP plant in texas after BP cut corners on safety and employees were killed because BP knowingly allowed safety problems to go uncorrected in order to pad their…bottom line. I wrote about the original refinery explosion here which killed 15..count em..15 employees. BP eventually only had to ante up $373 million for the lives of their employees lost in this TX refinery explosion and subsequent coverup. I wrote about that here in October of this year.

Now, the bastards are going to kill an area the size of Wales and England combined..and get paid handsomely to do it. So people can drive their big friggin SUV’s and have gas to put in them among other things..

Tags: BP, Tar Sands Oil extraction, Alberta Canada

Crossposted at Leftwing Nutjob

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8 Comments in 2 threads.»

Comment by rube cretin
2007-12-10 18:39:49

“This is the price we pay when Eco-freaks run our federal energy policy.” this is part of one of the comments over at americanblog which is tracking the same issue. one thing is for sure if tar sands are the solution we are scraping the bottom of the barrel. better start planning for a change of life styles.

Comment by Dusty
2007-12-10 18:56:41

Rube..ECO FREAKS dont’ run our government..corporations do! But you know that I am sure ;)

Your correct that if we are trying to suck ‘that’ kind of oil out of the ground..we have passed the peak oil times and the endtimes for fossil fuels are upon us..

I don’t have a problem changing my lifestyle..I already do everything I can to lessen my use of fossil fuels..including driving a 6 cyl vehicle and combining trips in said vehicle to minimize my gas use.

I just wish we would tax the shit out of folks that drive huge SUV’s..they need to feel the ‘burn’ for driving those big-assed, gas guzzling things.

Comment by rube cretin
2007-12-10 19:10:02

we can tax them. all we have to do is pass a law. additionally, folks can undertake a program to confront folks driving them. make it not so popular to drive them. i told a guy at the service station the other day that he must be trying to make up for his small penis by driving a Humvee. one of the few nice things about being an old man, you are rarely beat up in public.

Comment by Dusty
2007-12-10 19:31:43

LMAO..omg..I heart you dude..the small penis thang is something I always say about big truck and SUV drivers..

We will NOT tax them..people like GM, FORD and all the Oil companies would cry out and lobby their friggin asses off to stop any such tax.

But I hold out hope that someday..we will. ;)

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Comment by rube cretin
2007-12-10 19:54:15

unfortunately i agreeon the tax thing, that’s why we need to confront these bastards. make driving these energy guzzlers unpopular by identifying and confronting the driver as being unpatriotic, physically deficient, or morally corrupt. try it, most are chicken hawks anyway and confrontation is something they do not like, but will not contest. one business in my town had a Humvee delivering around town and i and some of my friends called them and told them we would never do business with them. they got the message.

Comment by Dusty
2007-12-10 22:17:27

We have a righty here on BIO that drives a Hummer..and he gets his panties in a wad when ANYONE calls him on it. He says, I think, its his right to drive whatever he wants. Thats true, but his story he posted about someone doing as you did..calling him on it..rang so true dude..seriously.

Kudos..I do give them shit every chance I get..we are suffering because of Oil and I don’t care who does or doesn’t feel the pinch..its real.

Comment by rube cretin
2007-12-10 15:15:17

dusty, have you seen the net energy calculations for this project. something tells me they are not much better than ethanol. my guess is this is part of a concerted effort on the part of the big producers to be able to tell the public that they would have done it if the environmentalist had not stopped them. another attempt to blame the sorry state of affairs on someone else, not the true culprits who maximized short term profits and through clever advertising hooked the American public into buying into this catastrophe through ignorant consumption. i believe they were instrumental to the overall legislative process which prevented programs that would have provided effectiveness and efficiency. T. Boone Pickens is a big advocate of the program and I’m just not sure we have found the magic bullet with this process even if it can be done in an environmentally sound manner.

Comment by Dusty
2007-12-10 16:47:35

I agree Rube, that this process will be costly and the return far less than traditional oil drilling delivers. That is why I doubt BP will spend a dime to maintain the ecological soundness of the wilderness evironment in the canadian wilderness where this oil it located.

It comes down to whats more important..gassing up the HumVee or protecting wilderness areas. Seems the cost and damage done doesn’t matter..and I hope your right that they get shot down on this proposal, regardless of who they blame.

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