Sunday, October 23, 2011

Eight Nobel peace laureates: ‘Don’t push tar sands’

Eight Nobel peace laureates have urged Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper to stop the extraction of oil from tar sands in the country. Oil thus extracted is 25 per cent more polluting than ordinary crude oil, according to the European Commission. Canada is home to the largest reserves of the sands.

Recently, the Commission suggested that tar sands oil be ascribed a greenhouse gas default value of 107 grams per megajoule of fuel, compared with 87.5 grams for crude oil. Tar sands are deposits of sand, clay and water saturated with bitumen, a viscous oil. They are mined and processed to extract bitumen which is then refined and diluted to turn it into oil. About two tonnes of tar sands are required to produce one barrel of oil (one oil barrel equals 159 litres). Tar sands contribute to 40 per cent of Canada’s oil production.

Source: Down To Earth
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