IOWA 350 organized a van load of Iowans to attend the Tar Sands Resistance march in St. Paul, Minnesota in the spring of 2015. We joined 5,000 other folks from the Midwest to show our resistance to importing Tar Sands oil from Canada. Every gallon of gasoline we use that comes from the Tar Sands emits 18% more carbon dioxide than gasoline from some other source. Huge amounts of natural gas are used to produce the oil from the tarry sand (the tar has the consistency of peanut butter). The tar-containing-sand is heated in a bath of water. Once the heated tar floats to the surface, the tar is skimmed off. It is so thick, that before it can even be transported, it must be “upgraded” by mixing in volatile, gassy liquids. If the gassy/liquid, “upgraded” oil mixture is ever spilled in water, the volatile gasses evaporate and the gloppy, tarry oil sinks to the bottom of whatever stream or lake it is in making clean up extremely difficult and pollution long lasting!
BTW (By The Way) … what happens to the heated water used in the sand bath? It is so toxic they don’t recycle it. Instead, the left over, now-polluted water is kept in “holding ponds” until we eventually figure out what to do with it. The water is so toxic in these “ponds” that if birds like ducks settle on the ponds, they die. The Tar Sands processing folks have installed air “cannons” on the perimeter of the “ponds” to scare away any such birds to prevent the public relations nightmare.