Red Leaf’s Controversial Utah Oil Shale Project Challenged

(Reposted from the Grand Canyon Trust)

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An aerial view of Red Leaf Resources’ Utah oil shale facility. | Photo courtesy Taylor McKinnon (Grand Canyon Trust) and Bruce Gordon (Ecoflight)

For Immediate Release, January 22, 2014

Contact:
Rob Dubuc, Western Resource Advocate, (801) 487-9911
John Weisheit, Living Rivers, (435) 259-1063
Taylor McKinnon, Grand Canyon Trust, (801) 300-2414
Shelley Silbert, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, (970) 385-9577
Tim Wagner, Sierra Club, (801) 502-5450

Controversial Utah Oil Shale Project Challenged

38,000 Public Comments Opposed Plan Threatening Aquifers, Seeps and Springs

SALT LAKE CITY— Oil shale strip mining atop Utah’s Book Cliffs is being challenged by conservation groups. The challenge is a “request for agency action” filed Tuesday, over the ground water discharge permit approved by the Utah Department of Water Quality. The permit, which authorizes Red Leaf Resources to test an oil shale mining facility, lacks measures to prevent or detect surface or groundwater pollution, in violation of state law. More than 38,000 public comments were sent to the Department opposing an earlier draft of the flawed plan.

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“Spaghetti, Not Tar Sands!” Fundraiser Dinner – Saturday, Feb. 1st

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Do you like spaghetti? Do you hate tar sands?

The Utah Tar Sands Resistance is hosting a very special sit-down spaghetti dinner, to help us raise funds to continue our work to stop tar sands & oil shale mining in the Colorado Plateau.

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE & MAKE A RESERVATION TODAY!

As US Oil Sands, Enefit & Red Leaf are preparing to break ground on their dirty & destructive extraction projects, so are we getting ready to ramp up the Resistance!–but we can’t do it alone!

Join us Saturday, Feb. 1st from 5-8:30 PM
at the Free Speech Zone (411 South 800 East, SLC, UT)

*$10 a plate in advance, and kids under 5 eat free!

*Dinner will include a green salad, bread and spaghetti with your choice of three different sauces (vegan & vegetarian)

*Gluten Free options available

*Live music by local musicians

*Purchase tickets in advance by emailing Raphael at craphaelc@gmail.com
or buy your tickets online.

Utah Tar Sands Resistance is committed to stopping the development of fossil fuels on the Colorado Plateau–with a special emphasis on stopping tar sands in Utah–by organizing communities and using direct action.

Funds be used: to support travel to rugged Eastern Utah that facilitates community building & helps develop direct action strategies; to fund events that foster a community of resistance against fossil fuels in the refinery community of the Wasatch Front; to support our efforts to build and maintain regional support around this issue.

Photo tour: Join us to visit what Enefit oil shale mining would destroy first

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Tar sands and oil shale development are crucial accelerants to climate catastrophe and the severe harm brought to so many, but a threat of harm to every living thing on the planet. The chain of destruction starts at the extraction process on precious and beautiful land south of Vernal.

On October 25-27, we will be visiting the land that the state-owned corporation of Estonia plans to destroy for a few hours fuel.

Sign up for our newsletter to get all the updates on the camping trip as details finalize.

See a photo tour of the area after the jump, so click more here –> Continue reading

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

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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.”

Bullshit.

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).

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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

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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.

THE CLIMATE JUSTICE MOVEMENT NEEDS SUPPORT!  To make a donation, CLICK HERE!

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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! 

 

 

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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.

Utah – The Next Energy Colony

PR Springs Tar Sands Mine

(this blog post was originally published by DGR News Service and has been reposted here with permission)

The first Tar Sands mine in the United States is an open wound on the landscape: a three acre pit, the bottom puddled with water and streaked with black tar. Berms of broken earth a hundred feet tall stand on all sides. To the north and south, Seep Ridge Road – a narrow, rutted, dirt affair – is in the midst of a state-funded transfiguration into a 4-lane paved highway that may soon be clogged with afternoon traffic jams of oil tankers and construction equipment. Clearcuts and churned soil stretch to either side of the road, marking the steady march of progress.

This is the Uintah Basin of eastern Utah – a rural county, known for providing the best remaining habitat in the state for Rocky Mountain Elk, White Tailed Deer, Black Bear, and Cougar. In the last decade, it’s become the biggest oil-extraction region on the state, and in the last five years fracking has exploded. There are over 10,000 well pads in the region. And now, the Tar Sands are coming.

Thirty two thousand acres of state lands situated on the southern rim of the basin – some 50 square miles – have been leased for Tar Sands extraction. If all goes according to plan, the mine at PR Springs that I’m looking at would produce 2,000 barrels of oil per day by late this year, with planned increases to 50,000 barrels per day in the future.

Dozens of similar mines are planned across the whole region. Along with their friends in state and local governments, energy corporations are collaborating to turn this region into an energy colony – a sacrifice zone to the gods of progress, growth, and desecration.

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