Tar sands oil remains dirty, despite industry spin: Sierra Club

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Calgary – Tar sands oil is as dirty as ever despite the most recent communications spin by the Alberta government and oil industry says Sierra Club Canada.
“It is discouraging that the Alberta government and oil industry can’t get their heads out of the tar sands and face up to the realities of this dirty oil,” said Stephen Hazell, executive director of Sierra Club Canada. “All peer-reviewed studies, as well as U.S and Canadian government studies, show that tar sands emissions are higher relative to the average conventional crude oils. The TIAX and Jacobs reports released today by the government and industry controlled Alberta Energy Research Institute were not peer-reviewed.”
“The methodology used in the TIAX and Jacobs reports has clearly been selected in order to support the conclusions desired by the Alberta government and oil industry,” said Jeh Custer, Energy Campaigner, Sierra Club Canada, Prairie Chapter. “First, the consultants sought out the dirtiest sources of conventional oil to compare the said sands against, with the predictable result that the tar sands don’t look so bad. Second, they compared tar sands oil to conventional oil produced in jurisdictions such as Nigeria with little or no environmental regulation. Flaring of natural gas from oil wells in Nigeria is unregulated (unlike Alberta) and generates substantial, unnecessary GHG emissions. Third, neither the TIAX nor the Jacobs report included greenhouse gas emissions associated with the huge disturbances to bogs, peatlands and forests caused by tar sands development, nor methane emissions from the enormous toxic tailings ponds.”
“This is just another example of Alberta defending dirty oil as part of its $25 million public relations effort,” said Hazell. “Premier Stelmach needs to understand that Alberta and Canada needs his leadership in advancing clean renewable energy, not another apologia for unsustainable dirty oil. We need to hear him state clearly that Alberta will do its fair share in reducing GHG and other polluting emissions.”

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