As debate over the Keystone XL and other pipeline projects continues, crude oil from the Alberta tar sands and western U.S. oil fields is increasingly being hauled by railroad. Critics warn that this development poses a threat not only to the environment but to public safety.
Articles: Tar Sands (320)
Norse mythology tells of Ragnarok, a cataclysmic disaster akin to ecocide. In order to avoid this fate we need new stories that reunite human experience with nature.
As the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline has worn on -- and it’s now well over two years old -- it’s illuminated the Obama presidency like no other issue.
Environmental questions about Canada’s massive tar sands development have long centered on greenhouse gas emissions. Now there are mounting concerns about the huge volumes of water used by the oil industry and the impact on the vast Mackenzie River Basin.
This much we know: The fossil fuels that power our economy take their toll, on workers, on the environment, and on those who live near areas of extraction, transportation, processing, and burning—which, these days, is a whole lot of people.
The derailment and explosion of a shale oil train in Canada highlights desperate attempts by refineries along the US/Canada East coast to offset the conventional oil peak of Atlantic basin producers who traditionally supplied them with Brent type crude.
“We don’t want the unconventional fuel industry to gain a foothold on the Colorado Plateau,” said Taylor McKinnon of Grand Canyon Trust. “The U.S. unconventional fuel carbon bomb is bigger than Alberta’s."
The Mackenzie River Basin, which occupies and protects one-fifth of Canada's fresh water, could be severely destabilized by climate change as well as unbridled resource extraction, including hydraulic fracturing, hydro dams and oil sands mining.
An analysis of jet fuel alternatives that could be viable in the next decade.
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