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Tar Sands Civil Disobedience: 381 Arrests at the White House and Counting til Sept. 3rd (Photos, Facts, Links)

August 29, 2011

“Defuse the biggest carbon bomb on the planet” — that’s the goal of hundreds of protestors, nearly 400 of whom have been arrested at the White House during the first week of the Tar Sands Action there.  Demonstrators, including anti-fracking activists Josh Fox, Steve Cleghorn, Sarah Henry and more, are pressing the Obama administration not to approve the XL Pipeline for tar sands oil extraction.  If not stopped this extraction will  massively contaminate water and air, harm indigenous communities and destroy a boreal forest the size of England.  Experts say it will irreversibly escalate global warming.

As of 2007, the Tar Sands was already using 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to extract oil; that figure will have increased, and most of that gas used to get oil is fracked gas.  Fracked gas requires vast amounts of diesel and gasoline to be burned by trucks, generators, compressors and heavy equipment in fracking, and so the cycle of insanity escalates.

The excellent website for the Tar Sands Action is here.

Rain Forest Action Network’s “Understory” website featuring Gasland Director Josh Fox on Tar Sands, and Tar Sands Facts, is here.
Short youtube video, Tar Sands Issues overview:  Canadian oil extraction, beginning with a statement by President Obama.
Huffington Post Coverage is here.
Fast facts from “Understory,” the Rainforest Action Network site:

Tar Sands Facts

Tar Sands Emissions via Pete WilliamsonTar Sands via Pete Williamson/Creative Commons
  1. The Alberta tar sands is the biggest industrial development project, the biggest capital investment project, and the biggest energy project in the world.
  2. The tar sands project is irreversibly destroying an area of ancient Boreal Forest the size of England.
  3. The tar sands uses more water than a city of two million people.
  4. The tar sands produces 36 million tons of carbon dioxide per day. It emits the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as 1.3 million cars.
  5. In 2007, the tar sands used approx. 1 billion feet of natural gas per day, much of which was obtained through fracking.
  6. Waster from the tar sands is stored in toxic ponds that are so big they can be seen from space. These toxic lakes leak 11 million liters of contaminated water every day into groundwater and drinking water for local communities, including Indigenous First Nations communities of Canada.
  7. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would pipe tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

You can help stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

One Comment
  1. eileen permalink
    August 31, 2011 10:35 pm

    A relative in Massachusetts told me of the commercials being aired there. Suits and slickness to sell fracking. “it’s safe, we’re a mile and half below the surface,” “we’ll have all the fuel we need to be independent.” He compared them to robots and stepford wives. He’s seen “Gasland” and tells people he knows. They are stunned by what they see and learn. The economy is very bad there, making it easier to manipulate people.

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