It has an infographic style that makes each step of the fracking process easy to understand and it’s lean, non-cluttered layout helps focus attention on the real issues.
Rather than sift through mountains of mis-information supplied by the petroleum industry, take about 3 minutes to experience this site and gain a little clarity about what “fracking” is really all about.
As you progress through the site, notes about the process will pop up for you to read. Don’t just quickly scan them! Stop and re-read what they’re telling you and let it sink in. These facts demand careful consideration.
In the ongoing coverage of the plan to build the Keystone XL pipeline to pump crude tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, a key issue is too often ignored: the ecological horror caused by the oil’s extraction. The vast tar sands surface mines of Alberta are among the most destructive industrial projects in human history, having already transformed more than 260 square miles of wetlands and forest into a post-apocalyptic moonscape.
Because few Americans will ever see this scorched-earth degradation firsthand, here is a selection of images taken by Canadian photographer Garth Lenz as part of his series, The True Costs of Oil.
On average, it takes four tons of bitumen-laden earth from surface mines to produce just a single barrel of oil.
That is not a typo: four tons = one barrel.
To get to the sand, workers first scrape off all trees, soil, grasses, and wildlife, then dig down as deep as 250 feet. Syncrude’s mine near Fort McMurray, now more than 30 years old, has gobbled up 73 square miles of land and is the biggest mine of any kind in the world.
The tar sand is transported in cartoonishly big vehicles, like this Caterpillar dump truck, which can carry up to 100 tons. The largest mining truck in use in Canada, the Caterpillar 797B (not pictured), can haul up to 400 tons in a single load. Its tires are 12 feet in diameter, and the driver sits 21 feet above the road.
Only 10 to 15 percent of the harvested sand contains bitumen—the ultra-viscous tar-like substance that eventually gets processed into gasoline. The rest gets dumped into tailing “ponds,” which are actually unlined, sludge-filled lakes so big they can be seen from space and so toxic that workers use propane cannons to scare away birds that try to land in them. The oil industry estimates that about 3 million gallons of tailing-pond runoff leaks into the Canadian groundwater supply daily.
Extracting and processing tar sands requires three to four times more energy than conventional oil drilling. The tar sands fields of Alberta are already Canada’s single greatest source of carbon dioxide emissions, and the country has plans to double that output within 10 years. A relatively new extraction process, called steam-activated gravity drainage, does less damage to the landscape but will hasten climate disruption by opening up access to deeper tar sands deposits in an area the size of Florida.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is one of many energy interests that keep plowing ahead with little regard for ultimate outcomes.
Tar sands, the raw product that the XL Pipeline will presumably handle with flawless precision, is the dirtiest form of energy that exists. Worse than coal, its deployment will dwarf the amount of greenhouse gasses that currently exist.
Additionally, the pipe itself is scheduled to be built directly through the largest potable water supply in the United States. The Ogallala aquifer spans several states and is key to the long term survival of both American agriculture and the American people themselves.
We can’t just go buy a new on once it’s gone. We can’t invent one either.
Even a small leak could destroy this aquifer and take us with it. Considering that TransCanada’s current pipeline infrastructure had over 100 major leaks last year alone, I think it’s unreasonable to assume that they’ve suddenly worked out the bugs just because the right politicians have been paid the right amount of money to allow this disaster.
Check out this video to get a broad overview of the greenhouse situation and then decide for yourself what’s worth more. This is about bloated lifestyles vs. human extinction.
The Republican Party, some of the more obviously paid-for Democrats and many major corporations claim that industry regulations are inhibiting job growth and that these regulations are hurting our economy. They want government regulations to be dramatically reduced.
Some even call for the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency altogether. They claim that the free market will police itself.
Fortunately for us, there is already a working example of how non-regulation and pure market forces works. It’s called China.
Take a look at this video and then ask yourself, “Is this really the kind of world that I want to live in? Are corporate profits this valuable to me?”
China is what you get when profits are put before people.
Thanks for dropping by
Remember to keep the faith and vote against any and every Republican idea you can before the whole planet goes down in flames!