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...then one day he was shootin' at some food and up from the ground came a-bubblin' crude...
From The Ballad of the Beverly Hillbillies

I haven't seen this diaried yet and it seemed important so here goes. Last night while I was yelling at NPR for their inane pandering to Darrel Issa another story came across the airwaves via NPR.

This one was about the tar sands in Alberta and in particular the fact they're already spilling. Just not in the way you might think.

Government regulators in Canada are investigating a series of mysterious oil spills around tar sands operations in Alberta. Thick oil is gurgling up unexpectedly from the ground instead of flowing through the wells that were built to collect it.
Over the orange oil slick for more

So it turns out the very process of extracting the tar sands appears to cause oil to squirt out of the ground.

Hmm, let me see, take high pressure stream, force it into the ground to melt the tar, and it will only go in the one direction you want? Yeah. That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

The denials and hand-waving from the folks in Canada on this is epic.

"We've had incidents in the past where there's been an explosive blowout as a result of pressure building up and then moving up through the rock formations until it emerges at the surface," says Chris Severson-Baker, managing director of the Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank. The new situation "is a bit unusual in that when [the bitumen] reached the surface, it sort of oozed out as opposed to blowing out."
Christ on a cracker. They expect explosive blowouts but are puzzled as to seepage? And we're supposed to not worry? And, did you catch this bit, this is from an "environmental think tank" spokesperson.

Anyways, read the whole story here and weep for our future.

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