The Alberta Tar Sands - The Atlantic.
The oil sands contain enough oil to produce 2.5 million barrels of oil per day for 186 years. In 2015, the U.S. consumed 19.4 million barrels of oil per day. TransCanada has proposed building a pipeline to bring oil from the Athabasca oil sands directly to refineries in the United States.
Northern Alberta’s oil sands are increasingly becoming a source of political conflict, both domestically and globally, as scrutiny of the world’s second-largest known oil reserve intensifies. While recent production in the oil sands has driven rapid economic growth in Alberta, there is increasing concern that this growth is causing unprecedented ecological harm.
Alberta’s oil sands deposits contain an estimated 1.71 trillion barrels of bitumen.2 Today, about 173 billion barrels of bitumen, or 10 percent, can be recovered economically; technological advances are required to develop the resource to its full potential.
Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Impacts: Developing Oil Sands -Syncrude surface mines oil sand, extracts the raw oil known as bitumen and upgrades it into high-quality, sweet light crude oil. The upgrading process subjects the bitumen to fluid coking, hydro processing, hydro.
The Syncrude oil sands plant is seen north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The oil sands give Alberta the third largest reserves in the world, but extracting the oil is energy-intensive and destructive.
Canadian journalist, Andrew Nikiforuk, makes a connection the negative effects that tar sands have on Canada’s economy and environment, in his essay “Tarmageddon: Dirty oil is turning Canada into a corrupt petro-state.”Nikiforuk’s goal is to help his audience realize the political downfalls within Canada and its failed efforts to protect both citizen and environment.
The Case for Phasing Out Alberta’s Sands. The first step is to halt new oilsands projects. Step 2 is to close sands projects that long ago paid off their capital costs.