The advertisement was on four full pages wrapped around the front (news section) of the Saturday Toronto Star. I have no idea what an ad such as that costs these days but it has to be north of $20,000. You would think that an ad that big, with that much space, that would cost at least $20,000, would say something positive.
Nope. The ad is sponsored by the six major oil sands companies in Alberta. And they have a plan. This plan has actually been going on for quite some time. The ad says that they have invested in technology and innovation and the plan is ‘robust.”
This robust plan consists mainly of what is known as carbon capture. The basic idea is capturing the carbon that you have created, liquifying it and putting it back underground. The oil sands people have had this plan in action for some time and are very pleased to announce that they plan to reduce their CO² emissions annually by 10 million tonnes by 2030.
The 10 million tonnes might seem impressive but against the industry figures as recent as 2019, when it was causing 241 million tonnes of CO² emissions, seems puny.
The fourth page of the ad tells us that they believe they are on the path to ‘Net Zero.’ Since it has taken them ten years to get to cutting emissions by 22 per cent per barrel, just how long it will take them to lasso the remaining 78 per cent might be open to questions. And they fail to tell you at what stage in the life of bitumen from the tar sands do they stop taking responsibility for the pollution it causes.
Does their responsibility end after they have heated the water, forced it down to the layers of fossilized bitumen in the earth and brought the liquid bitumen to the surface? Or does it end after the bitumen has had the sand and other impurities removed, so that it can be heated and forced through a pipeline?
Do the oil sands company’s responsibilities end when the bitumen is loaded on ocean tankers and heads through the Georgia Straight towards the Pacific Ocean? Does the foreign refinery take responsibility for the huge amounts of bitumen slag left when the bitumen is refined into ersatz crude oil? And who takes responsibility when the ersatz oil is refined into gasoline, fuel oil or other petroleum product and creates further pollution?
It seems to me that there is never an end to destroying our planet with tar sands.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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