Chicago tonight recently ran a report on Canadian oil sands created by Elizabeth Brackett whom we met in Canada last month. She interviewed me too, but I did not make it in. Too bad! Perhaps in the PBS version of this story to be broadcast later this month, but despite the lack of any Dutch accents, this is a nice piece.
A bit of controversy about the numbers. Environmental group interviewed mentions a factor of 3 over conventional oil. This is for extraction and upgrading only. In a wells-to-wheels analysis (so total emissions from production to car driving) it is around 10%. My comments to Elizabeth were related to the desire by environmental groups to stop Albertan tar sands imports to the US. This is only a good idea if alternative sources of the marginal barrel provide a cleaner oil. I doubt it. The only way to reduce growth of Albertan tar sand production is to save, save, save and move to electric transport. It’s the consumers in the US who drive the Albertan production as nearly all the oil is exported to the US.