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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.

CERA study at wiki

Think Progress-CERA study faulted.

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.

Non pdf version

Pdf version

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.

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Just say no to the Keystone pipeline, no to the Tar Sands.

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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 10:40:41 AM PDT

  •  Questions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox, sberel
    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.

    I assume that we're using up the cleaner oil, so GHG emissions of the average crude would also be increasing, too. Is this correct?

    While 82% higher than average sounds bad, it needs to be put into context. What's the variance of GHG emissions of our current oil supply? Also, how does that 82% higher than average compare to other new oil sources that are coming online now?

    Try looking at things another way.

    by atheistben on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 10:49:59 AM PDT

    •  82% IIRC is based on the average barrel of oil (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, DawnN, mightymouse, sberel

      The link to Giles letter is above, that will give you the exact wording.

      Yeah we're using up the light sweet crude, so yes, over time GHG will increase. BUT, it might be that the average barrel of oil is API 35. This oil is light crude and can be passed thru a refinery to make diesel with not much effort, or gasoline with only a little more effort.

      Once you get into the medium & heavier crudes that require catalytic crackers to break down long chain hydrocarbon molecules, you then need refineries with twice the foot print and cap investment, significantly more energy input, the EROEI takes a huge hit right there.

      Normal EROEI is about 10 to 1 for conventional oil. Tar sands is estimated by Robert Rapier to be best case 4 or 5 to 1, worst case 1.5 to 1. Rapier estimates Tar Sands is now about 2.9 to 1. But that likely does not include backing filling the strip mines and remediating environmental damage covering an area the size of Florida.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 11:23:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NPRA oil is actually super light crude API 40-60 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnN, sberel

      SO that would drive the 82% higher in the single case.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 11:39:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Companion diaries (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, sberel

    Tar Sands to consume all natural gas in Canada and Alaska
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Alberta Tar Sands: Canada missing its Kyoto targets
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    The diary below is a look from an oil centric viewpoint, some may consider it objectionable, Ok. But the diary does show that from an oil centric viewpoint, there is a huge and clear alternative to the Tar Sands, I tried to take the Drill smart angle.

    Tar Sands alternative, Light crude from Alaska, instead of dirty low quality oil

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu Sep 01, 2011 at 11:40:51 AM PDT

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