Profits Trump the Environment, Again: StatoilHydro Shareholders Vote Against Getting Out of the Tar Sands


photo: WWF - Unconventional Oil: Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel?

Squeezing oil out of the tar sands is one of the most water intensive, carbon emitting, and environmentally destructive fossil fuel sources out there. But that hasn't stopped shareholders of Norway's StatoilHydro from giving up on them. Reuters reports that shareholders overwhelming chose oil profits over the environment:

At its annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday, owners with 3.64 million shares voted for Greenpeace's resolution for StatoilHydro to withdraw from its $2 billion tar sands project, Greenpeace said. Investors representing a further 22 million shares abstained.
The figures correspond to 0.1 percent of total shares backing the oil sands exit and 0.7 percent abstaining.

In 2007 Statoil bought 257,000 acres of leases for tar sands production, but in 2008 dropped plans for a new refinery there.

Statoil has indicated that it would be using in situ extraction and deploying carbon capture and storage in any of its operations there to minimize environmental impact—technologies which Greenpeace rightly criticize as not decreasing environmental impact in the former case and simply not being available in the latter.

More: Greenpeace
Tar Sands
Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth
National Geographic Slams the Tar Sands - Canadian Politicians Pissed
Economic, Environmental Costs of Developing Tar Sands & Oil Shale Unthinkable
Carbon Capture and Storage Oversold as Panacea by Tar Sands Industry

Tags: Canada | Carbon Emissions | Energy | Norway | Oil | Pollution

Best of TreeHugger