Maybe thats why James Hanson calls it "game over". A Carbon bomb for sure. In 2009 the CERA study claimed a 5% to 15% increase in Co2 emissions from Tar Sands compared to conventional oil. With the Tar Sands slated to suck dry all of the natural gas in Canada and Alaska over the next 85 years, the greenhouse gas emissions from burning 185 trillion cubic feet of nat gas has to be included in the overall impact, the CERA study of 2009 did not account for the use of nat gas.
To dig up bitumen one has to remove the peat layer called Muskeg, or remove the Boreal forest. Destruction of the Muskeg releases methane (Ch4) and Carbon dioxide (Co2), both are green house gases. The CERA study of 2009 did not account for these GHG releases, and based the study on Bitumen that was already diluted with lighter grade oil.
A 2010 letter from EPA Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles was rather blunt in response to the State Departments Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the 1,700 mile Keystone pipeline.
We appreciate the substantial efforts by the State Department to solicit broad expert and public input to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the KeystoneXL project,and believe the Draft EIS provides useful information and analysis. However, we think that the Draft EIS does not provide the scope or detail of analysis necessary to fully inform decision makers and the public, and recommend that additional information and analysis be provided.
I like how the letter is all nicey nice, and then HOWEVER slams the door shut on the nicey nice. Administrator Giles goes on to suggest that State didn't include a robust analysis and recommends looking at changes to fuel economy standards, potential fuel-efficient technologies, advanced biofuels and electric vehicles and the effect these would have on crude oil consumption.
Then Administrator Giles drops the hammer:
Accordingly, we estimate that GHG emissions from Canadian oil sands crude would be approximately 82% greater than the average crude refined in the U.S., on a well-to-tank basis.
Over 200,000 people have signed the petition telling President Obama to stop the Keystone pipeline. If you haven't done so yet, please sign the petition to stop the Keystone pipeline.