Superpost-Oil Extraction Environmental Impacts
by louismekhael on Décembre 11, 2017 - 4:49pm
In the world that we live in these days, very few are the places that are free of pollution. In fact, every country has different issues to treat concerning the environment. These different issues often come from their industrial activities or their habits in their day to day lives. Therefore, these important problems need to be solved, and fast to save this world we live in because the environment is only getting worst. Thus, many environmental professionals from many different countries did researches on the main local environmental issues. This short-essay will show the main parts of some of these studies like the oil impacts in Canada and Venezuela and the impacts of the keystone XL in the United-States.
To start, it is known that Canada and Venezuela have a very important sand reserve in which oil can be extracted and use afterwards. In fact, in total, both countries have enough sand to fill “2 trillion barrels of oil, it is the equivalent to 280 years of America’s current consumption” (Heger). Unfortunately, a dirty and resource consuming process in needed to extract this essential source of energy. This complicated process in fact create one of the main environmental concern within the country. A good example of a degrading action that this process includes is that the developers are “scraping away the earth's surface, along with anything that happens to be living there” (Heger). Also, it has been calculated that “every day around 3 million gallons of contaminated fluid leaks into the surrounding area” in the process of extracting the oil out of the ground (Heger). Moreover, “a recent study by ecologist David Schindler at the University of Alberta conclude that within 30 miles of oil sands upgrading facilities,11, 400 tons of toxic matter were spread” which has a huge impact on the environment (Heger). Furthermore, Venezuela is also a huge player in the oil market. In fact, the south American country uses the same methods as Canada to get its dark gold. Being the fifth largest oil producer in the world, 15% of the oil that is sold in the United States comes from Venezuela. Also, this major exportation for the country represent “half of the money received by the government of Venezuela” (Earth Island Journal). However, there are a lot of risks when it comes to the transportation of that specific fuel. In fact, it is not rare that there are oil spills and tanker leaks that majorly damaged the environment. The Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea were both affected by previous oil leaks coming from big transportation boats. Moreover, this kind of operation produces a lot of “carbon dioxide in the air that can cause breathing problems for children and the elderly” (Earth Island Journal). So, not only it affects the planet but also the people that lives on it. To continue, there are plans at the moment of building a $7 billion pipeline from Alberta to Texas to transport the oil at a faster rate and with a safest method. This project in fact creates a lot of debates between the oil businesses and the environmentalists. The businesses are telling everyone that it is a safer way to transport oil and the perfect method to avoid any kind of leaks, and on the other side, environmentalists are trying to put every good reason not to build the pipeline. The people that are for the Keystone XL are “arguing that cancelling the project won't stop the oil sands from being developed and that some oil produced in California was more damaging to the environment than the Alberta bitumen, a fact ignored by activists” (McMahon). Adding to that, they are also arguing that “if President Obama wanted to dramatically cut U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, Bledsoe says, he would approve the pipeline and, at the same time, announce new environmental regulations for coal-fired power plants, which are far more polluting than the oil sands” (McMahon). Personally, I believe that these reasons provided by the oil companies are good and that it would be a good way to transport this important but dangerous fuel. Plus, it would create many new jobs and the economy would benefit of it. Therefore, this particular source of pollution in the world will be very hard to stop since it composes a major part of the worldwide market these days.
To conclude, I believe that these methods should be abolished in the end because they are the number one cause of the global warming we are experiencing today. In fact, these methods should be replaced by green energies such as electricity produced by solar panels or wind turbines for instance. I believe that it is possible to switch to green energies, and I understand that it will be expensive at first, but money will not buy another planet and if we are willing to survive on this one, we have to take care of it with the best of our abilities.
Heger, Monica. "The End of Easy Oil." Discover, vol. 31, no. 7, Sept. 2010, pp. 16-17. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com-ebsco-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=afh&AN=52887066.
McMahon, Tamsin. "The Keystone Sideshow." Maclean's, vol. 126, no. 14, 15 Apr. 2013, p. 10. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com-ebsco-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=afh&AN=86646032.
"Venezuela: America's Oil Pump." Earth Island Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, Spring2000, p. 22. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com-ebsco-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=afh&AN=2757241.