I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

Search This Blog

Friday, January 8, 2010

More Troubles for Tar Sands Oil Producers

Dozens of states are moving ahead with regulations that would penalize more carbon-intensive fuels like those made from oil sands bitumen, and encourage the use of greener alternatives. The states are proceeding amid growing doubts about President Barack Obama's ability to get cap-and-trade legislation through Congress this year. Under proposed regulations, refiners and marketers would either have to reduce their reliance on oil sands and other heavy crudes, or buy credits from low-carbon energy producers. In either case, the value of the Alberta crude to its producers would fall.  California pioneered the low-carbon fuel standard with a plan that was condemned as discriminatory by the Alberta oil industry as well as federal and provincial governments. Now other regions are following California's lead, including 10 Midwestern states that together represent the oil sands' largest export market.
Perhaps climate activists should lobby individual states  and  point out the amount of natural gas and water  consumed in the production of tar sands oil.   Why not?  Disclosing the pillaging of old growth rain forest in Europe put pressure on  forestry companies in British Columbia.  The same sort of tactic might work on oil sand producers .... at the very least, more states would implement regulations similar to Califonia's.  This would slow down tar sand development in Canada - and slow down greenhouse gas emsissions.


  1. Not a little ironic. By so effectively squishing any substantive discussion debate about the tar sands in Canada our industry and government(s) have seceded such to other states and countries. Might say something about our immaturity as a country that we can't take responsibility for our own actions and have these discussions ourselves, whether one is for or against them. Where are our main political parties? Where is the Canadian media? Why is it only when issues are raised outside of Canada that Canadian institutions take notice? To see some of what this all is about have a look at my imagery of the tar sands at http://www.beautifuldestruction.ca and http://www.louishelbig.com

  2. I live in New Delhi, so all this is happening a long way away. But I think dirty fuel is dirty fuel where ever it is; and it affects us all.

    I just ran a guest post by a Canadian environmental leader who is working on this issue and others. He says we need a worldwide massive people's movement to stop climate change. I agree with him.