The picture shown here looks innocent enough. Just a hand holding some dirt right? It’s not. It is a photo of some of the nastiest, smelliest goop Canada has ever tried to make something useful out of. It’s called TAR SAND!
Tar sand is sandy dirt mixed with bitumen which has had a few million years to age and was discovered mid twentieth century by Canadian geologists who knew that what they had was huge if they could just figure out a way to make oil out of it. It took many years and a lot of money (some provided by offshore sources) but they figured out a way to do it. Cook the soil until it liquifies somewhat and then extract it. They did that and now they have a slurry of heavy, nasty, sulfuric poisonous oil bubbling up from underground fissures ruining the land, lakes, and ecology for the native Indian tribes and anyone else who lives nearby. Like to hunt? That’s gone. Like to fish? Sorry about that! “Yeah but didn’t they give you a job?” Yeah they did, but that’s gone too because of all the pollution it caused and now we’re gonna have to move!”
The results are obvious. The same big oil companies who spilled 63,000 gallons of nasty tar sands crude into the Yellowstone River in Montana in 2010, contaminated miles of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, and made Mayflower Arkansas virtually uninhabitable just last year, now want to bring their bundle of joy right through the bread basket of our nation, not for our use, but to refine in Houston, and then ship offshore to other countries where they can burn it without fear of environmental restraints. Don’t you just love big oil companies and the big money behind them sometimes?
“The problem with extracting and burning tar sands oil is that it is the dirtiest type of liquid fuel on the planet. It’s hugely energy-intensive to get out of the ground, and one of the big byproducts is something called “petcoke” — a coal-like, high-sulfur, high-carbon solid that burns dirtier than coal. It also tends to get stored in huge piles that can release huge, dirty dust clouds on unsuspecting residents. More tar sands from Keystone XL would mean more petcoke. It is also a big project — if completed the pipeline would carry and emit 181 million metric tons of CO2 every year. That’s more than 37.7 million cars or 51 coal plants.”
Do you think the oil companies and the politicians they support give a damn about your health or mine? Don’t bet the farm on it! It reminds me of all those coal miners who died of black lung disease in Appalachia over the years for nothing but a job and a paycheck. I get cold chills when I think of little kids wearing gas masks while playing at the playground, and seniors who don’t dare go out for an evening walk because they can’t breathe the air.
The State Department, after spending another bundle of our money doing another environmental study recently on the proposed pipeline, basically took a pass and mouthed some pretty words that basically said, “Well, it’s bad anyway and running it through a pipeline won’t make it much worse!”
Yeah, but what about all those jobs? The same people screaming against Obamacare, are screaming about all the construction jobs a project like this would generate as though it’s going to be in the thousands and stay that way forever. Not true. Temporarily, there would be quite a few jobs, but only during the construction phase. Following that, it will reduce down to skeleton sized maintenance crews and that’s about it. That’s when you realize you’re sitting on a time bomb and when you have a spill, the only jobs created are going to be trying to reclaim ruined land and rescue your prized possessions. You want to risk the health and welfare of our citizens for those few jobs? I don’t agree.
To all those Canadian Indians who have been robbed and dispossessed of the land and life style they’ve lived for centuries, I apologize. I apologize because we’re supposed to be weaning ourselves from fossil fuels and now we’re talking about building a pipeline to carry the meanest, dirtiest, most poisonous crap anyone ever pulled out of the earth, right through the middle of our country, down to Houston to refine, ship offshore, and poison some other unfortunate sucker in some other country that has no environmental programs. Mark me up as being a no vote on this one!
As usual, send me your critiques and comments. I’ll be sure to read them all and If I can use them, I will.
Posted by All Around Seniors at 2/5/2014 12:55 AM