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View Diary: Tar Sands oil from allies is preferable to oil from people who want us dead. (46 comments)

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    Tar sands oil is being purchased by China

    It's also the dirtiest oil on the planet and the pipeline would leak like a sieve:

    Opposition to the mega-project does not cut evenly across party lines. Unions representing pipefitters and tradespeople – usually backers of Obama's Democrats support the pipeline as a "shovel ready" job creation programme. Some back-to-the land rural Republicans – including Nebraska senator Mike Johanns, have voiced concerns about the pipeline's route and possible environmental damage.

    TransCanada's assessment of the project estimates less than 11 spills discharging more than 50 barrels over the pipeline's 50 year lifespan. But a recent study from John Stainsbury, professor of water resources and engineering at the University of Nebraska, finds the company underestimates possible dangers.

    His independent analysis, the first on the proposed pipeline, finds that Keystone XL could spill as much as 29.9 million liters of oil above the Ogallala Aquifer and more than 26 million liters of raw tar sands crude at the Yellowstone River crossing.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which warned of possible risks from the project, had its budget slashed by 16 per cent or $1.6bn in April as part of a budget deal between Democrats and Republicans. The move deliberately weakens enforcement of clean air and water legislation in favour of big business, environmentalists say. [...]

    Extracting one barrel of oil from the tar sands requires three barrels of water and produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional crude, environmentalists say. Industry contends that most emissions are created when oil is burned in a car or power plant and the extra emissions from tar sands, given the full lifecycle of oil, are comparatively small, only about 15 per cent above conventional oil.

    Lakes full of toxic water, polluted during the extraction process, cover 170 square kilometers in Alberta and they are growing with increased demand.

    So, risks toxic leaks to the largest underwater aquifers in the great plains, pumps more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, uses up precious water resources and helps the Chinese burn more oil.

    Yeah, that;s a win-win all around.

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:10:47 AM PDT

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