Oil sands now the top source of crude for the US

by Milan on May 26, 2010

in Climate change, Climate science, Oil sands

The economic clout of Canada’s oil sands keeps growing and growing.

Production doubled between 2000 and 2009, and the oil sands are now the single largest source of crude imports for the United States.

The more money that gets invested in these facilities, the more politically difficult it will be to eventually shut them down. Instead, we should be investing more intelligently.

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. July 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Anti-oil-sands campaign tests Alberta’s Steady Eddie

Premier Ed Stelmach is taking a measured approach in his response to attacks on the province’s oil sands

Josh Wingrove

Edmonton — From Monday’s Globe and Mail Published on Sunday, Jul. 18, 2010 5:14PM EDT Last updated on Monday, Jul. 19, 2010 6:40AM EDT

Faced this month with advertisements attacking the oil sands, a U.S. Congress skeptical of a critical pipeline project and a legislature demanding action, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is a man under fire.

Most recently, he was left defending his province against billboards posted in four U.S. cities by a small American environmental group, Corporate Ethics International. The billboards urged travellers to avoid visiting Alberta altogether, comparing the oil sands to the BP oil spill.

The ads have prompted a strong backlash in the province, where talk-radio shows and local newspapers have revelled in picking apart the campaign’s inaccuracies. While they fire back, they’re urging Mr. Stelmach to do the same. Leaders of the opposition Liberals and Wildrose Alliance are meeting Monday to discuss bypassing the government and reacting on their own.

The outcry, however, is exactly what Corporate Ethics was aiming for.

“We hoped to provoke a discussion. We’re happy to see the attention to it,” said Kenny Bruno, a spokesman for the California-based group.

Yet a study released Monday also shows the international news coverage of such campaigns is minimal.

So how will the Alberta government, and Mr. Stelmach, respond?

The Premier, known as Steady Eddie, is treading carefully so far. Respond too strongly, and give “$5-million of free media” to the activists opposing his province, he says. But too light, and risk losing a public opinion war over the province’s most lucrative industry, which also generates 4.6 per cent of Canada’s carbon emissions.

. July 20, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Doubling of tar sands output by 2020

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has come out with its latest forecast of Canadian crude oil production over the next 15 years. Today, Alberta’s tar sands put out 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, or 54 per cent of total production output. That will rise to 2.2 million in 2015 (67 per cent of total output) and 2.9 million in 2020 (74 per cent of total ouput). In 2025 the tar sands will reach 3.5 million barrels a day, or more than 81 per cent of total output. You can so where this is going. In 15 years we see conventional production in Canada falling nearly 40 per cent and tar sands production well more than doubling alongside CO2 emissions.

Will there be any meaningful amount of carbon capture and storage in the oil sands by 2020? By 2025? Don’t bet on it. The first demonstration projects will be related to coal, and even then, they will be small and few.

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