Stop Tar sands mining in Utah

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LaurenceGH

Sport climber
FRANCE
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 22, 2013 - 08:40am PT
Hello 'brothers and sisters in arms', it just came to my notice that permission to mine Tar Sands in the Uinta Basin of Utah has been given, this is obviously a disaster in the making. I am not American but I dearly love this area, it has given me profound pleasure, please don't let these sacred places be poisoned and blighted. Perhaps the climbing community would at least like to know about it, so maybe spread the word. There's lots of info about how bad Tar Sand Mining is, but mining and pollution this close to the Colorado river whose water so many people depend on seems very foolish.
Anyway you folks over there probably know more about it and Tar Sands than me so and you are certainly in a better position than me, so there you go. yours etc Stevie Haston
Here is a link
https://www.facebook.com/utahtarsandsresistance

http://steviehaston.blogspot.fr
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:41am PT
Thank you Laurent. Now, who is in line to sign the pledge "I PROMISE TO PAY MORE FOR GASOLINE TO (insert imaginary statement or cause here)". Queue up behind.... well, as there is no line yet, a new one can be formed.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:49am PT
the reason that "we" are mining the tar sands is that the cost of that particular expensive resource is falling below the value, that is, we are spending more on fossil fuels... and those fossil fuels, a non-renewable resource, are being expended, and that lack of supply is driving up its value.

worse, we're altering the environment of the Earth doing it.

so we can decide to just continue doing it, and not worry at what the total costs of that action is, or we can figure out how to not do that... albeit at some expense...

but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that our choice doesn't matter to us or to the future.

as climbers, we see this already in the exploitation of those beautiful areas we travel to to climb, ironic in that our travel, for the most part, drives the exploitation.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
Ed, "exploitation" has become a loaded word, but it isn't always negative. To exploit means to take advantage. Taking advantage is morally neutral; taking unfair advantage is not.

As couchmaster argues, restricting supply of petroleum will raise the price of petroleum products. I understand the thrust of your argument to be that allowing mining of tar sands without payment of the cost of environmental change is unfair. Economic theory agrees with that premise.

This is a long-winded way of saying that the issue should be whether the parties mining tar sands will, in fact, bear the cost of environmental degradation. Unfortunately, few in the "let-them-eat-cake" wing of the environmental movement would accept that. They want their own preferences for the environment to take place, regardless of what others in society want. While we may get our way in the short run carrying out such policies, sooner or later, those with different values will overwhelm us and, I fear, lead to a system that doesn't take environmental degradation into account at all.

For that reason, the position that we must stop all environmental degradation leads, in my opinion, to bad results for the environment. Unless my perception is way off base, I rather believe that if people had to choose between no environmental change and no consideration for the environment, the majority would choose the latter over the former. When we oppose tar sands mining on an absolute basis, we essentially offer the public that all-or-nothing choice. I don't like where that ultimately leads.

John
Hoser

climber
vancouver
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
As couchmaster argues, restricting supply of petroleum will raise the price of petroleum products.

The logic that tar sand oil will reduce your pump price or keep it from rising is flawed, the reason tar sand oil is now profitable is due to the rising price of oil on the whole.

Furthermore, by allowing petroleum products to increase in cost will allow renewables to be competitive. That is the only way we can make the transition from carbon based fuels to those that are renewable, and yes it will cost more but less than the costs associated with climate change and pollution.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
exploitation in this case is the "less loaded" meaning, but it generally conveys a sense of making something of value that doesn't necessarily look like you could.

tar sands have been around for a very long time... and the cost of exploiting them, recovering the fossil fuel potential from them, is not a new thing. as the cost of fossil fuels go up, the value of exploiting the tar sands starts to make economic sense, even if that value is projected into the not too distant future.

so we see that it's ok if the "free market" does this, it seems natural, yet when the USG contemplates a carbon tax, that is seen as a negative. however, how do you value the environmental costs of exploiting the resource, and the cost of the consequence of burning the resource?

one way would be to have no public lands and include the atmosphere in that too. the idea is that we cannot regulate the commons, so lets do without them. all the land would be owned by a private concern whose sole interest is in economic return on that ownership investment, same with atmosphere.

we would pay to use those resources, and let the market determine the costs... the owner of the atmosphere has a hard time, apparent liabilities for weather events, etc, caused by the use... with no gov't to indemnify them for the problems. but this would get the pricing right...

fail to pay your monthly atmosphere use bill? no oxygen for you!

we have moved from a population that is an insignificant user of the resources to one that is a significant user of the resources, so significant that the finiteness of those resources is becoming an issue. the finite atmosphere, fresh water supply, farmable land, fish in the sea, all these things are under pressure... not to mention places where there is no trace of humans.

how do you value that? economically?


in the past, John, you've punted by saying you've been trying a long time to come up with some valuation scheme, but have failed... but on the other hand you caution doing something that might not get it right... well, isn't that being obstructionist? here the good is the enemy of the perfect... and if you can't find a solution, shouldn't you just throw in the towel and let someone else try something?

or do we dither away this time?
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:11pm PT
so we see that it's ok if the "free market" does this, it seems natural, yet when the USG contemplates a carbon tax, that is seen as a negative.

Sad to say, too many people who purport to be believers in the market agree with that statement.

I aimed my comments at the idea that any particular process, in this case the mining of tar sands, although it applies to fracking or any other environmental bogeyman du jour, is so ipso facto bad that we should never allow it.

The logic that tar sand oil will reduce your pump price or keep it from rising is flawed, the reason tar sand oil is now profitable is due to the rising price of oil on the whole.

I don't think couchmaster is saying that, and I'm certainly not. We're saying that anything that increases supply would, absent more, result in a lower price than not increasing supply.

John
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Hoser's right, mining tar sands oil is like mining gold. It's only valuable as long as market pricing can support production and a profit.

Alberta's just starting to worry if the US does achieve energy self sufficiency within her own borders.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:18pm PT
This is a long-winded way of saying that the issue should be whether the parties mining tar sands will, in fact, bear the cost of environmental degradation.

You start off sounding reasonable.

Unfortunately, few in the "let-them-eat-cake" wing of the environmental movement would accept that.

Then the broadside.

Answer me this:

Can you cite one example, just one, of a large mining operation conducted by private enterprise, in the U.S. that bore the cost of environmental degradation?

One will do, just one....

Cause you know, I'm a f*#king wingnut and would like to see one example of where private enterprise actually bore the f*#king cost of enviro degradation.

Just one....

DMT
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
DMT,

I think modern mining regulations in West Virginia, as one example, that require complete repair of any environmental degradation, are about as close as we come currently. Otherwise, I, too, think that we let the cost of environmental degradation be borne by everyone, not just the users of the mined product.

It does not follow, though, that if mining fails to bear the full environmental cost, we should prohibit it altogether. Frankly, you don't strike me as the wingnut you're purporting to be, because I doubt, from both your words and your actions, that you support the all-or-nothing choice to which I directed my opposition. Unfortunately, the reflexive opposition to all mining of anything -- which I do see expressed -- leads to my "let-them-eat-cake" epithet.

john
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:30pm PT
Big mines in the U.S. never close-- they operate at a loss, sometimes for decades, to avoid closure costs.

But this particular argument is about drilling as opposed to mining.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:53pm PT
It does not follow, though, that if mining fails to bear the full environmental cost, we should prohibit it altogether.

I believe the U.S. electorate allows private investors to rape our environment and walk away with the proceeds, bearing almost NONE of the long term enviro costs. The legacy of U.S. private enterprise mining is one of environmental shame and disrespect.

They are still slicing off the tops of West Virginia mountains and not replacing them. They still leave open pits open. A piece of legislative paper is not restoration.

Just one example, that's all I ask - an example where the mining company and its investors actually bore the environmental costs.

If you can't cite one (and you can't) then the American public is entitled to a portion of the profits extracted from those sites, simple as that.

In other words, when the true costs of sand tar mining are considered?

The American public will get f*#ked AGAIN and some investors will walk away with ill-gotten gains. If that is mining in the 21st century then I am Wingnut as charged.

New mining leases should require full restoration costs be set aside UP FRONT. Full cost, on the table, from the get go. See if your investors want a piece of THAT pie.

DMT

ps. yes understood some some tar sands are mined and many or most are, um, drilled. Thanks for clarification, but central point about bearing full enviro costs are still valid?

Meanwhile, in Canada....



That's one MESSY well?
Hoser

climber
vancouver
Apr 22, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
Just one example, that's all I ask - an example where the mining company and its investors actually bore the environmental costs.

In Canada we have a carbon tax, we also have funds that tey pay into for returning the land back to some sort of original state.

But really its not the land that costs the most for clean up, its the injection of Co2 into the atmosphere. The greens here in Canada believe it should be $100 a tonne, which is $70 more than it is now.

With a carbon tax that high industry could afford to look into carbon capture and renewables
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
Search Google images for "mountain top removal"

When you western boys are clamoring to stop mountain top removal coal mining in my state of West Virginia, then I'll join in your efforts to stop tar sand mining in utah.

Wouldn't it just be easier to invade Canada and steal their tar sands? I mean, we're invading the Middle East for oil all the time. It would be a whole like easier to knock off the Canuks than the Taliban.

Here's what's happening to the beautiful mountain state, West Virginia, all in the name of "CLEAN COAL."

Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat

Acidic mine drainage from "CLEAN COAL."

Acid Mine Drainage
Acid Mine Drainage
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
Hoser

climber
vancouver
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the US. That is the main reason why we are trying to get to Asia, you guys have way too much oil and the price is waaaay down compared to the rest of the world.

Carbon tax would help you ledge rat, when it comes time to vote let them know you want your energy prices to contain the true costs, those that include the environment and the production. We need to make it law that carbon based fuels be priced accordingly
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
Utah tar sands are too small to affect pump prices in any way. Same goes for the Canadian tar sands. We are talking about a few million bbls/day on a 90 million bbl/day market. If we lifted the sanctions on Iran, then gas prices might fall.

You can't point to some rinky dink project and say it is going to change the world. Yes, the company doing the project might make money, but it won't change what you pay at a pump 15 miles away one whit.

Here is how to lower gas prices.

1) Hope for a recession in China.

2) Carpool. Americans are by far the most gluttonous users of oil on the planet. Most oil goes to transportation fuel. Get rid of your V8 unless you are a rancher. Buy a civic. Hell, even the larger cars now have pretty decent gas mileage.

All I hear is bitch, bitch, bitch. All people want is sub three dollar gas. Well, it is over three bucks because we burn a quarter of the world's production.

While we go around building aircraft carriers, other countries build rail and subway systems. So suck on it. It drives me crazy when people bitch about gas prices.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
Well spoken Base. No disagreements here.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 22, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
I rescanned the thread - not one bitch about fuel prices so far as I could see???

DMT
sandstone conglomerate

climber
sharon conglomerate central
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:05pm PT
scalping mountains is good..i'm an american and am entitled to a higher standard of living than the rest of the world. as long as my belly is fat, my
environment climate controlled, and my fat ass is parked behind the wheel of a gas guzzler to make that 1/2 mile round trip to the pharmacy to pick up my blood pressure meds, i'm happier than the proverbial pig in sh#t. oh yeah, and a whopper, wit cheese, too.
Bharata

Mountain climber
Pune
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
In-place resource under Uinta Basin estimated at 1.32 trillion barrels.

http://pubs.usgs.gov/dds/dds-069/dds-069-bb/

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