Local News articles about tar sands



Mining company US Oil Sands announced the appointment of a receiver on Sept. 14, a sign of the company’s poor financial standing. The company owns the controversial PR Springs tar sands extraction facility in Uintah County, near the border with Grand County and has been working towards commercial oil production. Read more:

Moab Times-Independent – Facing losses US Oil Sands mining company goes into receivership


“Last week, several grandparents and I demonstrated at the PR Spring tar sands mine with a rocking chair blockade, demanding that Utah and the nation urgently transition to green energy and restore the land.

With US Oil Sands going into receivership, Utah leaders have another chance to get it right. They have been cashing in on dirty energy projects like the U.S. Oil Sands tar sands mine at PR Spring for decades.

The tar sands mine has never moved beyond preproduction, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars while blighting the landscape and destroying critical habitat in the Book Cliffs of eastern Utah.

Infrastructure and regulatory support from DEQ, DOGM and SITLA are partly responsible for the desecration of hundreds of acres.

To secure a livable future for our grandchildren, our leaders must ensure that the restoration bond of $732,000 is used to clean up the mess. No more tar sands nonsense.”

—Jill Merritt

Salt Lake City

Read more

Moab Times-Independent – No more nonsense



US Oil Sands resumed work early this month on commissioning the project, bringing employees and contractors back on site on a staged basis, “allowing for a coordinated and safe return-to-operations,” it said.

It hopes to complete commissioning and start up operations to produce its first oil in the next eight to 10 weeks, ramping up production to capacity from there.


Dust blown away from stockpiles left over after tar sands upgrading is very likely a key source of a cancer-linked pollutant commonly found in the northern Alberta region, concludes a new peer-reviewed study.


US Oil Sands slows $60-million Utah project as prices tank, contractors close





Article about tar sands strip mining in Utah, from Scientific American. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tar-sands-mining-moves-to-utah/

Article about direct action in August 2015


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Oil sands protests to continue after arrests (Moab Times Independent – July 24)

21 Arrested as Police and Protestors Clash at First U.S. Tar Sands Mine (EnviroNews TV – July 24)

Tar Sands Mine Protesters Arrested At Construction Site (Utah Public Radio – July 23)

Construction of First US Tar Sands Mine Begins, Even As It’s Blockaded (SustainableBusiness.com – July 23)

A Parody of Populism: From the ‘Bumpkin Proletariat’ to the Utah Tar Sands (Counter Punch – July 23)

21 Protesters Arrested While Attempting To Block The First Tar Sands Mine In America (ThinkProgress – July 23)

21 arrested at tar sands site (Moab Sun – July 22)

Oil sands protesters arrested in Utah (Upstream – July 22)

Protesters from across U.S. arrested at Utah tar sands mine (Deseret News – July 22)

Protesters Arrested at America’s First Tar Sands Mine (Newsweek – July 22)

Free on bail, “land defenders” face numerous charges in Utah (Salt Lake Tribune – July 22)

Activists say arrests made in protest at Utah tar sands mine project (Reuters – July 21)

Utah: 21 Arrested After Blockade of 1st U.S. Tar Sands Mine (DemocracyNow! – July 22)

Blockade at First Tar Sands Site in US Challenges ‘Brazen Disregard for Climate Crisis’ (Common Dreams – July 21)

Uintah deputies arrest anti-tar sands activists (Salt Lake Tribune – July 21)

Editorial: State must keep closer watch on tar sands project (Salt Lake Tribune – July 1)

Trib Talk: Tar sands mining gets the green light (Salt Lake Tribune – June 30)

Direct Action Protest Temporarily Shuts Down Utah Tar Sands Project (Desmog Blog – June 28)

Activists camp out in protest vigil at Utah tar sands site (Salt Lake Tribune – June 27)

Utah justices reject challenge to tar sands mine (Deseret News – June 25)

High court rejects final appeal of Utah tar sands mine (Salt Lake Tribune – June 25)

Utah High Court Clears Way for Tar Sands Mine (KUER – June 24)

Utah hostile (Calgary Herald – June 19)

Protest camp set up at tar sands site (Moab Sun News – June 11)

The Rolling Rebellion For Real Democracy and Tar Sands in the US (Clearing the FOG Radio – June 9)

On the News With Thom Hartmann (Truth-Out, June 9)

Call for Mass Protesting & Mobilization of People in Utah over US Tar Sands (EnviroNews – June 5)

Oilsands down south: Protesters vow to kill Utah project (Fast Forward Weekly – June 5)

Protesters say they’ll stay put at Utah oil-sands pit (Associated Press – June 4)

Protesters set up camp at Utah oil-sands pit, say it threatens water supply (The Republic – June 4)

Permanent Protest Setup at Proposed Tar Sands Strip Mine in Utah (EcoWatch – June 2)

Permanent Protest Set Up at US Oil Sands Project in Utah (DesmogBlog – May 31)

‘Permanent Protest Vigil’ Launched to Confront First Tar Sands Mine in US (Common Dreams – May 29)

US Oil Sands gears up to build Utah project (Calgary Herald – May 26)

American Sands Energy Corp. To Become Third Company to Mine Tar Sands in Utah (DesmogBlog – May 15)

Utah OKs Oil Refinery Construction Before Examining Impacts on Public Health, Pollution, Iconic National Parks (Center for Biological Diversity – May 14)

Deal reached to halt endangered listing for Utah flowers (Salt Lake Tribune – May 6)

Utah tar sands:
 promise or peril? (The Daily Sentinel – May 5)

Lands fight: Five acts of environmental disobedience (Salt Lake Tribune – May 2)

Sales of Eesti Energia aka Enefit oil shale down 41% in one year

Will Utah Oil Sands Project and Water, If There is Any, Mix? (Inside Climate News – April 15)

US’s first tar sands mine facing opposition in Utah (Sojourner Truth Radio – March 20)

Utah Supreme Court hears challenge to tar sands permit (Salt Lake Tribune – March 4)

Eesti Energia’s market share down notably (Baltic Business News – Feb. 19)

Canadian Company Called U.S. Oil Sands Will Soon Start Extracting Utah’s Tar Sands (DesmogBlog – Feb 16)

Two Enefit executives detained under suspicion of bribery (Baltic Business News – Feb. 4)

“Utah’s Carbon Bomb”: State Plots Massive Tar Sands & Oil Shale Projects Despite Climate Concerns (Democracy Now – March 14)

Enefit American Oil shale project on hold (Vernal Express – Feb. 25)

Lots for Tots: How one agency is selling off Utah in the name of the children (City Weekly – Jan. 29)

Eesti Energia Responds to Anti-Oil Shale Demonstration in Utah (Estonian Public Broadcasting – Jan. 28)

Ameeriklased protestisid Eesti Energia vastu (arileht – Jan. 26)

Moody’s downgrades Eesti Energia’s ratings (The Baltic Course – Jan. 22)

Peaceful Uprising Demands Immediate DAQ Ban On Tar Sands Refining in Utah (EnviroNews – Jan. 10)

Lionel Trepanier Addresses the Crowd and Turns His Back on a “Failed” Air Quality Board (EnviroNews – Jan. 10)

Estonia coverage of Enefit’s Utah oil shale project:

Peaceful Uprising Demands Immediate DAQ Ban On Tar Sands Refining in Utah – http://environews.tv/peaceful-uprising-demands-immediate-daq-ban-on-tar-sands-refining-in-utah/


Utah OKs nation’s first commercial oil shale mine (Salt Lake Tribune – Dec. 20)

Frank Giustra, President Bill Clinton’s Close Colleague, Joins US Oil Sands Board (DesmogBlog – Oct. 7)

Estonian company could bring billions to Utah, but environmentalists fear catastrophe (KSL – Sept. 23)

Oil shale brings promise of jobs, revenue from Estonian partnership (KSL – Sept. 19)

Giant US Tar Sands Project Lurking in the Shadows (Common Dreams – Sept. 12)

Owners Backtrack on Utah Tar Sands, Oil Shale Refinery Permitting (Common Dreams – Sept. 11)

Action Camp! (Catalyst Magazine – September)

US Tar Sands Operations Challenged By Grassroots Opposition (DesmogBlog – Aug. 22)

The rock that burns: Is Utah about to see oil shale bonanza? (Salt Lake Tribune – Aug. 16)

Utah Canyon Country Action Camp (Unedited Media – Aug. 7)

Climate activists to fossil fuel industry: ‘If you build it, we will come’ (Waging Nonviolence – Aug. 6)

Watch Protesters Disrupt Tar-Sands Operation at PR Springs, UT (City Weekly – Aug. 5)

US Oil Sands stock drops 13% day nonviolent direct action shuts down mine (KCSG Television – Aug. 4)

Protesters block road construction (Vernal Express – July 30)

Activists protest proposed Utah tar sands mine, shut down road project (KSL – July 29)

Protesters halt road work near eastern Utah tar sands mine (Salt Lake Tribune – July 29)

Activists protest proposed Utah tar sands mine, shut down road project (Deseret News – July 29)

Utahns protest tar sands mine (ABC 4 Utah – July 29)

Demonstrators block road at site of proposed tar sands mine in Book Cliffs (Moab Times-Independent – July 29)

Protesters halt road work near eastern Utah tar sands mine (Salt Lake Tribune – July 29)

Action! Locals blockade Utah tar sands strip mine (Red, Green & Blue – July 29)

Climate Justice Activists Occupy Two Tar Sands Mining Sites in Utah (Earth First! – July 29)

Estonia company wants to pull 2.6 billion barrels of oil from Utah (Salt Lake Tribune – July 13)

Utah Tar Sands: Will The U.S. Join Canada In Tapping The ‘Bottom Of The Barrel’? (Huffington Post – June 29)

Families Camp Out in Protest to Save the Tavaputs Plateau from America’s First Approved Commercial Tar Sands Operation (EnviroNews – June 28)

No thanks, Estonia (High Country News – May 28)

Groups suing BLM for decision to open lands for oil shale, tar sands leasing (KSL – May 25)

Oilsands fight heads to Utah (Fast Forward Weekly – May 16)

Tar sands protesters interrupt U of U fuel conference (Fox 13 News – May 7)

Protests Against America’s First Approved Tar Sands Operation Rage in Utah at Chevron Refinery (EnviroNews – April 6)

Utah protesters decry tar sands in Chevron refinery march (Salt Lake Tribune – March 24)

Protesters rally against tar sands oil (Fox 13 News – March 23)

Company: Utah tar sands poised to yield oil (Salt Lake Tribune – March 21)

Native American Round Dance Protest Hits the Capitol (City Weekly – Feb. 21)

Protesters demonstrate against planned tar-sand mine in eastern Utah (Salt Lake Tribune – Feb. 21)

Tar sands mine in Utah gets final nod from regulators (Salt Lake Tribune – Jan. 12)

Protesters Boo “Dirty Herbert” Outside of Energy Summit (City Weekly – Jan. 10)


Second US Tar Sands Mine, Owned by Former ExxonMobil and Chevron Exec., Approved in Utah (DesmogBlog – Nov. 21)

Groups protest tar sands, oil shale plans in Utah (Fox 13 News – Nov. 19)

Tar Sands South: First US Tar Sands Mine Approved in Utah (DesmogBlog – Oct. 26)

Utah tar sands project gets key go ahead (High Country News – Oct. 25)

‘Expect Resistance’: Utah Tar Sands Project Gets Green Light (Common Dreams – Oct. 25)

Utah Oil Sands Project Can Proceed Without Pollution Permit, Water Monitoring (Inside Climate News – Oct. 25)

As Texas Pipeline Blockade Continues, Activists Challenge First US Tar Sands Strip Mine in Utah (Democracy Now – Oct. 10)

Tar-Sands Battle (City Weekly – Oct. 17)

Potential groundwater contamination at issue in tar sands mine (Deseret News – Sept. 26)

Decision on Eastern Utah’s tar sands mine expected next month (Salt Lake Tribune – Sept. 26)

Ruling Exempting First U.S. Tar Sands Mine from Water Pollution Monitoring Is Challenged (Inside Climate News – Sept. 13)

First U.S. Tar Sands Mine: Six Years Digging Up Sixty-Two Acres…For Just 6 Hours Worth of Oil (DesmogBlog – Sept. 6)

Oil Sands Mining in Utah Clears Major Hurdle (Inside Climate News – Aug. 29)

Nation’s First Tar Sands Mine Stirs Water, Environmental Fears Out West (Inside Climate News – Aug. 16)

Will Utah’s tar sands make it the Alberta of the high desert? (High Country News – July 23)

Does Red Leaf’s “EcoShale” Technology Greenwash Oil Shale Extraction? (DesmogBlog – July 17)

Groundwater at issue in Utah tar sands project (Associated Press – May 16)

Enviros protest at Utah trust lands office (Salt Lake Tribune – April 23)

Tar Sands in the United States: What You Need to Know (DesmogBlog – April 10)

University of Utah professor warns tar sands process could taint water (Salt Lake Tribune – Jan. 24)

2012 Unconventional Fuels Conference (Catalyst Magazine)


Wildflower vs. Oil Shale (City Weekly – June 15)

Why bother cooking what nature failed to finish? (High Country News – March 21)


Utahns tar the tar sands (High Country News – Oct. 1)

America’s First Oil Sands Project in Utah to Face Legal Challenges (Inside Climate News – Sept. 24)

Athabasca South? Activity Hints at Tar Sands Development in Utah (Inside Climate News – March 30)


Road to Nowhere: Utah’s oil boom could mean a highway in the wilderness (City Weekly – April 2)

Bush Administration’s Rush to Develop Oil Shale and Tar Sands Endangers Local communities and Wild Lands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming (Common Dreams – March 20)


VIDEO: Citizens’ Public Hearing at SITLA OfficeUS Oil Sands slows $60-million Utah project as prices tank, contractors close