The Tar Sands are a literal stain on our country’s landscape, and yet our political leadership has staked our entire economy on its development and expansion. The process is wasteful, complicated, and throws off all kinds of toxic byproducts into our lakes, rivers and forests destroying ecosystems and wildlife habitats.
ThinkProgress on How To Make Gasoline From Tar Sands, In Six Simple Steps
After all of this, it takes as much as four tons of sand and four barrels of fresh water to make a barrel of synthetic oil, which is good for about 42 gallons of gas, or one fill up in a ’97 Suburban. The good news is about 10 percent of that water is recycled! (On the downside, the other 90 percent is dumped into toxic tailing ponds, which currently cover about 50 square kilometers [19 square miles] along the Athabasca River, and is leaking into the ecosystem at a rate of perhaps 11 million liters a day.)
This is nasty stuff, and our children will pay for our shortsightedness.