Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Alberta Oil Sands Debate

In Alberta, Canada, best known for its hockey and oil sands, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach pushes for an increase in the production of oil from these oil sands. Liberals in the region are staunchly against the Premier calling him an “oil salesman” and claiming the production is hazardous to the environment.

Stelmach, who wants to triple production by 2016 from 1.25 million barrels/day to 3.75, insists they are “developing the resources in an environmentally responsible way,” but added “there’s a number of things that have to be put in place” to minimize pollution. According to Stelmach, the production emits less than 0.1 % of the world’s emissions. Large amounts of greenhouse gases are emitted during the production process. In regards to climate-change initiatives, Stelmach says they “don’t serve either of [the US or Canada’s] energy interests or environmental interests.”

Analysts estimate 173 billion barrels remain in the oil sands. This means at Canada’s current rate, the sands would be tapped out in roughly 270 years and at a tripled rate around 90 years.

The Wobblin’ Goblin with a broken broom strikes again.

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