Oct. 25-27: Stop Enefit! No Oil Shale Campout

Stop Enefit

We with the Utah Tar Sands Resistance aren’t all about tar sands, you know. Eastern Utah has become a sacrifice zone for the Western United States in terms of destructive, toxic fuel extraction, and we’re standing up to say “No!” to extreme energies in the Uintah Basin–and that includes oil shale.

Enefit, an Estonian government-owned company with some half-baked ideas about mining for oil shale in Eastern Utah (in order to produce Kerogen), is bringing the usual lines about ” minimizing land disturbance,” ” reclamation” of the land,  and their “commitment to environmental stewardship.”


By their very nature, extractive processes such as Enefit’s are highly destructive, leaving behind a wasteland, and polluting the water and air. Even if we believed Enefit’s lies, the state of Utah requires little to no oversight of oil & gas projects, and has recently allowed US Oil Sands to start tar sands mining without requiring a pollution permit or water monitoring. Why should the Enefit project be any different in a state with a “Mine, Baby, Mine!” mentality?

Oil shale mining in Estonia has left the Baltic country with a population high in respiratory disease, and according to a recent report from KSL News, “There are still vast piles of waste in Estonia, and dozens of square miles remain torn up by strip-mining. There used to be severe air pollution and water quality problems.”

Recently, Shell announced that they were abandoning their own oil shale project in the Western Slopes of Colorado, after wasting over $30 million of dollars in “exploration.” They following Chevron in fleeing the Colorado Plateau because oil shale development is EXPENSIVE, RISKY and UNRELIABLE.

Based on early tests, folks in Estonia are even say that Enefit’s Utah project is “not promising” and are worried that it could cost them $100 million.

We don’t want Utah to become a wasteland. Our air, water, and land are too precious to squander on speculative and experimental mining practices.

Join us as we say “NO!” to oil shale, and get ready to STOP ENEFIT!

(Please email us at utahtarsandsresistance@gmail.com for directions, and join the Facebook event for updates)

Enefit: A Half-Baked Nightmare for Utah

(The BLM is seeking public input on Enefit’s planned utility corridor project. All comments must be submitted by Aug. 1, 2012. Visit our Facebook page for more information on how to submit a comment).


Tell the BLM to STOP ENEFIT!

Enefit, an Estonia oil shale company, aims to start mining oil shale in Utah in the coming years. But the odds are stacked against it—and if allowed to proceed, it would wreak havoc on the resources we all depend on. Utah Tar Sands Resistance is working to protect our lands and waters from oil shale and tar sands mining, for the sake of our own health and the wellbeing of all generations to come.

Human Health Violations:

v    Oil shale requires massive amounts of water, and in the west, we don’t have water rights to give away. The Colorado is the most endangered river in America.

v    Water rights would have to be seized from farmers and communities.

v    The Colorado would likely become polluted with dangerous compounds that seep into the watershed.

v    Toxic substances would be carried by pipes, threatening our water sources and farmland.

Devastation of Our Wilderness Heritage:

v    Oil shale mining would utterly devastate huge tracts of wilderness. Hundreds of thousands of acres of BLM and state lands are at risk.

v    This would jeopardize the livelihoods of people in communities throughout south and eastern Utah who rely on tourism for their regional economy.

A History of Failure:

v    Oil shale has a hundred-year track record of failure in the U.S. It has never come close to becoming commercially viable.

v    Oil shale is an entirely different resource from shale oil and shale gas, which are pockets of oil or gas trapped within shale rock. Oil shale is not even oil—the word “oil” is a misnomer. It’s an “immature precursor to oil and gas,” as the Colorado School of Mines says.

v    This low-grade, waxy material, called kerogen, requires energy-intensive upgrading to turn it into fuel.

v    Enefit only produces energy used for electricity in Estonia, not transportation fuel. Enefit must create an entirely new technology to mine oil shale in Utah—and experts from Estonia say commercial production would not be feasible for at least several decades out, if ever.

v    “The test results are not promising,” the company said in an internal document.

v    A wave of bad press in Estonia is barraging Enefit’s plans in Utah, saying it requires tremendous governmental subsidies to even make it viable—just like oil shale mining in Estonia. Enefit’s foolhardy attempt to make oil shale viable would devastate our lands and health, and we refuse to bear the financial and human health expenses.

Join the effort to stop dangerous oil shale and tar sands mining!

Read More:

Estonian Public Broadcasting, “PM Backs Minister as Skepticism Emerges Over Utah Oil Shale Venture”

Checks and Balances Project, “Eyes on Enefit: Financially Unstable and Unprofitable, and Not Ready for Prime Time”

Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, “The Public Health Consequences of Utah’s Energy Policies

Western Resource Advocates, “The Basic Facts of Oil Shale and Tar Sands”

Aug. 16-19 – Tar Sands Healing Walk solidarity campout at PR Springs


Utah Tar Sands Resistance and friends will be walking between threatened and damaged sites in the PR Springs area, calling for healing of the abused planet Earth. The walk is inspired by and in solidarity with the Tar Sands Healing Walk, a First Nations-lead action in Alberta Canada in July 2013.

“It is time when people from the four directions come together to walk for justice, for peace, for freedom, in recognition of the great spirit and mother Earth,” says the narrator on this video about the Healing Walk. “Not only are we in an ecological crisis, we are in a moral and human crisis.”

Alberta tar sands–with poisoned people, vast eco-destruction and unimaginable dumping of climate change gasses–are a scary forecast for what we would see in Utah…except that you and we are going to stop the industry in its tracks and overthrow the fossil fuel economy! 

It could all start with a camp out, August 16-19.

Watch the Facebook event for updates and details as they emerge:  https://www.facebook.com/events/178859648958025

To prepare for your first trip to PR Springs, please read http://www.tarsandsresist.org/camp

Tar Sands eco-terrorists can’t hide from the resistance–climate justice WILL be served!

Utah Tar Sands Resistance, Peaceful Uprising and Deep Green Resistance Great Basin May 7 stormed the Unconventional Fuels Conference in Salt Lake City, piercing fossil fuel lies by speaking truth to power. The Conference was put on by the University of Utah’s Institute for Dirty and Dangerous Energy, otherwise known by it’s double-speak Orwellian name, the Institute for Clean and Secure Energy. The conference this year placed special focus on tar sands development.


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May 17-19: A Call to Remember the Sacred

Update: this camp out has been CANCELLED for now–it may be rescheduled. Weather forecasts and other issues have prompted the cancellation.  Sorry about that; we’re disappointed also! 







Utah Tar Sands Resistance is joining members of Utah’s faith communities to bless the lands we love that are threatened by tar sands development.

Join us for the weekend of May 17-19 in Eastern Utah’s Book Cliffs, which are threatened to be clear cut and destroyed by tar sands developers.

In the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, there will be a Ceremony of Compassion for the sake of the returning songbirds and to honor the sacredness of all life.

If you do not have transportation or camping equipment, we may be able to provide it for you. Contact us at utahtarsandsresist@gmail.com or RSVP on Facebook by clicking here.

For more information on camping conditions and what you need, go to: TarSandsResist.org/camp

As always, if you want updates like these sent to your Inbox, sign up by clicking here.

5 Ways Tar Sands Threatens Utah’s Air Quality


1.)  Refining tar sands emits more deadly pollution than regular crude oil refining.

2.)  Trucking the tar sands to Salt Lake will worsen air pollution especially the PM 2.5s and other toxic diesel exhaust.

3.)  Significant amounts of radio-active Uranium are present in Utah tar sands would be released to the environment when processed in the Salt Lake refineries.

4.)  Tar Sand strip mining and refining will require extensive publicly financed road building and electrical and airport infrastructure expansions all impacting our air quality and without sufficient tax or fees thus reducing our ability to invest in clean air solutions.

5.)  Tar Sands would require vast amounts of water increasing the aridity and related air pollution in our State.  Tar sands could leech waste and hazardous minerals into the White, Green and Colorado Rivers. We have other sources of energy but the 30 million consumers of Colorado River water do not have another source of water.

Read our sources after the jump.

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Utah Gov. Dirty Herby receives Polluter of the Year award at his own energy summit

Utah has enormous potential for growing its renewable energy capabilities, like wind and solar. However, Governor Herbert works hard to create a “business-friendly environment” for the dirtiest industries, including tar sands and oil shale—the most destructive of all. Governor Herbert is trying to seize hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands for tar sands and oil shale mining, so we seized the microphone at his energy summit to give him the Polluter of the Year award.

Tar Sands in the United States

by Ben Jervey (reposted from DesmogBlog)

Tar-sands-oil-canada-2Think that that dirtiest oil on the planet is only found up in Alberta? You might be surprised then to hear that there are tar sands deposits in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, much of which are on public lands.

While none of the American tar sands deposits are actively being developed yet, energy companies are frantically working to raise funds, secure approvals, and start extracting.

To help you better understand the state of tar sands development in the U.S., here’s a primer. Continue reading