Thursday, February 19, 2009

Center Supports Oil Sands Production Using Nuclear Power

President Barack Obama's visit to Canada this week is highlighting the Canadian oil sands issue. Virtually all traditional environmental groups oppose the production of oil sands in Canada based on land, air and water use concerns. The Center believes these concerns can be adequately addressed and mitigated. The land can be reclaimed, the carbon dioxide footprint can be almost completely reduced by using nuclear power as the energy source instead of natural gas or the oil sand itself and water can be piped in and recycled. Although critics will howl, Canadian imports of oil into the United States are too important to simply ban the practice of obtaining oil from Canadian tar sands. President Obama should adopt our recommendations concerning Canadian oil sands.

The Center also recommends a USA/Canadian partnership for the construction of Energy Defense Reservations (EDR) at certain Canadian oil sands production sites. The Center is promoting EDR for the USA as a way to produce multiple useful products, including oxygen for oxycombustion at coal plants, hydrogen for fuel cell production and the conversion of carbon dioxide into gasoline using the Fischer-Tropsch method. We accept the greenhouse gas emissions penalty of use of the motor fuel in cars and trucks, but society is going to drive cars and trucks that emit carbon dioxide anyway. So such penalty is neutralized. We recommend the military as the primary user of the fuel with any remainder going into the marketplace. (wiki)

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