NRDC report to the Northwest - "the tar sands invasion is coming"
May 1st - Earlier this year, energy researchers got together with a host of environmental groups to try and find out where Canada’s tar sands oil was headed. This week, a new report lead by the Natural Resource Defense Council, Forest Ethics and NextGen Climate, tells us this immensely carbon intensive oil (of Keystone XL infamy) is on its way to Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia.
With Keystone all but nixed by the State Department, Alberta based tar sands extractors have been on the move to find a path to international markets. Through the area’s current infrastructure of rail lines, terminals, refineries and pipelines, tar sands oil is on the move to the Northwest.
Highlights from the report:
- The amount of tar sands processed in west coast refineries could grow eight-fold, totaling 800,000 bpd by 2040
- Tar sand will make fuel in our region dirtier: annual increases in carbon emissions of up to 26 million metric tons—more than four times the annual carbon emissions of Seattle.
- Estimated 2000 additional barges and taker ships carry oil in regional waters
- Startling increases in pollution and run off from refineries and vast increases in oil by rail transport throughout the region
The fossil fuel threats for our region continue to mount and each one seems scarier than the last. This “oil” (described as much closer to a murky solid) is vastly more carbon intensive and corrosive when transported than typical sources. NASA climate scientist James Hansen famously said that if the tar sands are fully extracted it would be “game over” for the climate. Canadian indigenous communities are fighting tar sands projects at every level as their communities continue to be broadsided by oil company land grabs and downstream pollutants.
We are starting to turn the tide against coal and oil projects in the Northwest. Lets make sure the latest threat from tar sands oil is no different and we continue to be a Thin Green Line against extreme fossil fuels.
Nick Abraham editor and lead contributor of Oil Check Northwest