Exploiting Utah's Oil Shale Deposits is Fossil Foolishness (Video)

Ahead of its upcoming report Fossil Foolishness: Utah's Pursuit of Tar Sands and Oil Shale Western Resource Advocates has produced the above short video detailing, as you might imagine from the title, why even though it may be tempting to try to cook oil out of stones the environmental and social costs of oil shale production are just not worth it.

This may be familiar territory for avid TreeHugger readers, but the film offers a good overview of the situation for newbies as well as some good illustrative imagery of processes that you may not be able to see first hand for seasoned greenies. It's definitely worth the five minutes running time. If you need the bullet-points, here's why WRA says oil shale and tar sands won't work in Utah (emphasis is their's):

  • Tar sands and oil shale production would not contribute significantly to domestic U.S. oil supply - but, industrial production in Utah would have significant negative impacts. Production would require giant mining operations and huge infrastructure development, resulting in enormous damage to water, air, energy, and communities.
  • Commercial shale development would require huge quantities of water in the country's second most arid state. Utah's remaining Colorado River allocation should not be used for a speculative energy source at the expense of municipal, agricultural, recreational, or ecological purposes.
  • Commercial development of tar sands and oil shale would adversely affect water quality.  Water used in tar sands and oil shale production would contain contaminants that would degrade the quality of the Utah's water, raise costs for water treatment, and place burdens on downstream uses.
  • Development of tar sands and oil shale would harm Utah's recreation economy.  Degraded water and air quality would adversely impact Utah's $7.1 billion recreation economy, which provides 113,000 jobs.
  • Climate change is real, and development can only make it worse. Tar sands and oil shale would be among the most carbon-intensive energy sources, further contributing to climate change.
  • Utah can be a new energy leader.  By focusing finite human and financial capital on commercial tar sands and oil shale development, we divert attention from the very real opportunity to provide new, renewable energy sources that will power a vibrant economy and sustain livable communities for our children and grandchildren.

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More on Tar Sands & Oil Shale:
Canadian Tar Sands Will Be US' Largest Imported Source in 2010: Ecologically Destructive & Immoral
Mr Secretary of Interior, Oil Shale Development Can Never Be Environmentally Sustainable
What's the Energy, Water and Greenhouse Gas Intensity of Oil Shale? High, High & High
Economic, Environmental Costs of Developing Tar Sands & Oil Shake Unthinkable

Tags: Oil | Pollution | United States | Utah

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