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Reality Check: The End of Growth in the Tar Sands. So Now What?


Reality Check: The End of Growth in the Tar Sands. So Now What?

Hannah McKinnon

A managed decline of the tar sands isn’t a popular idea in Alberta, or in Canada for that matter. The idea of sunsetting the tar sands industry is about as polarizing as it gets. The problem is that people have been led to believe that a managed decline undercuts a booming oil industry that is on the cusp of bouncing back after a few bad years. It’s not. The only real alternative to a managed decline is something much worse: an unmanaged decline.


Well the US is fighting the same battle, only it is with the coal industry. Those who are in the industry do not wish to see coal go, though the cost of coal is more expensive than other energy sources. And if we were really smart we would add in the environmental cost of all sources of energy. But that would make energy very expensive. So we push the costs down the road for someone else to pay.

The carbon sources are going to be the dirtiest. And if you total the cost of nuclear with how the hell do we get rid of the waste for ten thousand years, nuclear becomes expensive. Dams tend to destroy the environment above and below them. Solar needs rare earth metals to build.

I read an anti-wind site that talked about the costs of wind, electrical lines have to be built to get the energy to where it is needed. But once built, the lines will be there and just need maintenance like any other power line. And the writer never addresses the subsidies and costs of the carbon industry for a real comparison. That is one thing that none of the lovers of the carbon industry ever calculate, just how much environmental damage, along with the billions of subsidies to keep carbon a low cost energy source. The subsidies alone would be more than wind power. The subsidies to wind was 30 billion for the last 20 yrs. The carbon industry gets at least 10 billion every year to run. Gee which is larger? 200 billion or 30?