Utah Authorizes The Further Destruction Of State’s Environment; Oil Sands Coming

September 15, 2010

Utah (ChattahBox Environmental News) РAs a local of Utah, I am appalled to learn  that John Baza, director of the Division of Oil, Gas and Mining in the state, is now responsible for us getting our very own oil sands. It will also be the first time this extremely harmful practice is being brought into the U.S.

I am not an environmental activist, though I think we should be caring of our planet just because it makes sense to be. I will never understand the willingness of so many to destroy everything we have for the sake of profit, or people’s willingness to just let it happen as corporations go unchecked.

Utah is usually more concerned with this than you might think, at least from the perspective of the average citizen. You will usually get a lot of outrage and anger over, for example, the dumping of toxic waste in our deserts, or oil spills within our borders. So, why is there not more anger over learning that we are being forced to host our own oil sands?

For those that don’t know, this is a practice that originates from Alberta, Canada. It works by harvesting oil from tar, and is actually significantly more damaging than other drilling methods (which are already pretty bad). Not only does it produce oil, but it uses a huge amount of water to do it, while destroying forests, killing off animals by demolishing their habitats and ecosystems, releasing a ton of greenhouse gases and causing acid rain.

Yeah, pretty harsh.

Now,¬† before you start calling me a “typical Liberal” as is repeated 400 times in our comments a week, take a second to consider this. What is one thing Utah can’t really spare? The answer would be water, and as the Huffington Post was kind enough to point out, we don’t have enough of that to handle what is needed for this process.

Not to mention if we started screwing with the overall health of our natural beauty we lose a large chunk of our annual tourism. Yes, we can still draw a small, somewhat irritating crowd each year when Sundance comes to town. But do you think the LDS temple downtown is going to be enough to bring in floods of people if our ecosystem starts going to Hell?

This is a bad idea in every way, and it shows that Baza is concerned with one thing: money. You would have thought he would consider the damage this could do to our economy when people stop coming and crops start dying, but then, I doubt it would personally hit his own bank account, or those of the people who “matter”.


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