Monday, February 16, 2009

Will Obama say "NO" to tar sands?

The environmental community is mobilizing to get Obama to reject imports of oil produced from tar sands.  While the campaign primarily focuses on the climate change impacts, the most pernicious effects of tar sands production are on water, both in terms of water quality and water allocation.  Tar sands production requires huge amounts of water and the water becomes polluted to the point where it is largely uneconomic to clean it: essentially permanently polluting freshwater resources, which are already limited.  On these grounds alone, we should not encourage development of tar sands.  In addition, tar sands and other "secondary" forms of oil production, all contribute more to global warming than conventional oil.  We must be prepared for Canada's response: the U.S. is being hypocritical unless it also discourages production of oil shale in the Mountain West -- another secondary recovery source of oil.  And the answer to that needs to be -- yes, we need to get our own house in order and develop a marketable carbon rights program or carbon tax that forces energy corporations to realize that development of such resources is both socially undesirable and economically infeasible.

February 16, 2009
By Earth's Newsdesk, a project of Ecological Internet
CONTACT: Dr. Glen Barry,

(Seattle, WA) -- On February 19, President Barack Obama
travels to Canada on his first international trip as
President, where he will face pressure from the
Government of Canada to support production of Alberta's
filthy tar sands oil. An international network of
environmental groups has launched the "Obama2Canada"
campaign[1] urging President Obama to stand strong on his
new energy economy agenda and reject entreaties from
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to shelter the
dirtiest oil on earth from global warming regulation.

"Tar sands oil is the dirtiest form of energy in the
world. It has no place in President Obama's plans for a
clean energy economy," said Sierra Club Dirty Fuels
Campaign Coordinator Pat Gallagher. "Tar sands oil
accelerates global warming. It destroys forests. It
endangers public health. Instead of importing this
expensive, dirty oil, we can invest in clean energy that
will create millions of much-needed, sustainable jobs."

Called oil sands by proponents, tar sands are the very
dirtiest of fossil fuels. Producing oil from tar sands
emits three times the global warming pollution as
conventional oil, requires excessive amounts of energy
and fresh water, and destroys huge swaths of ancient
boreal forest. Given its massive carbon footprint, tar
sands would almost certainly prove unviable under any
reasonable climate change regulations. Along with ending
the use of coal and old growth forest destruction,
stopping tar sands is essential global climate policy
required to maintain an operable atmosphere.

Ecological Internet's Earth Action Network has launched
an independent affinity email protest campaign[2]. There
global citizens can let the new President know how
seriously they take climate change, urge him to reject
tar sands, and support further immediate urgent action in
pursuit of sufficient climate change policies.

"This may be our most important climate campaign ever.
Tar sands development is the most ecologically
destructive project in the world. When fully developed,
tar sands will indefinitely continue North America's
addiction to climate destroying fossil fuels, ensuring
abrupt and runaway climate change exceeds safe levels.
There is virtually no chance of minimizing climate change
and achieving global ecological sustainability should tar
sands production continue or expand," says Ecological
Internet President Dr. Glen Barry.

[1] Obama2Canada Contacts:
Kristina Johnson, Sierra Club (415) 977-5619
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence Canada, (416) 323-
9521 x 232
Lisa McCrummen, Obama2Canada: (206) 321-9461

More information, including photos, B-roll video and
other campaign materials are available on

Urge President Obama to Say No to Canada's Filthy Tar Sands


Air Quality, Climate Change, Economics, Energy, Governance/Management, North America, Sustainability, US, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink

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