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Help Stop America’s First Tar Sands Strip Mine

IMG_5111With many eyes focused on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline controversy that would move tar sands mined in Canada to the gulf coast, there is a tar sands project gaining speed in eastern Utah. A Canadian company with the name “U.S. Oil Sands” hopes to mine tar sands from tens of thousands of acres of land in Utah, which is estimated to have more than 50% of all tar sands in the United States.

Tar sands is the dirtiest form of energy on the planet. Extracting, refining and burning tar sands produces three to five times as much CO2 as petroleum, which contributes dramatically to climate change. Tar sands mining could make our rivers and aquifers toxic, poisoning the drinking water for millions of people who depend on the Colorado River basin. The Colorado River system is already stressed from over-use, and polluting and using vast amounts of water to mine tar sands and oil shale is a dead-end for everyone.

U.S. Oil Sands holds permits to more than 32,000 acres on state-managed land in the Book Cliffs in Utah’s Uinta Basin, one of the largest commercial tar sands lease holdings in the United States. They began field-work at the “PR Springs” site in 2011 and intend to continue expanding.

The Canadian company recently notified Utah that they intend to significantly increase the size and scope, and substantially modify the footprint of its PR Spring mine. In response, Utah has reviewed the revised corporate application and is now inviting the public to provide comments until May 18th. Your involvement is critical to stop this threat to the integrity of the Colorado River watershed, otherwise Utah will give U.S. Oil Sands a green light to begin full-scale, strip mining operations.

We need to put our resources into developing cleaner energy solutions and keep the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground. Tar sands development in Canada is already playing a large role in our climate catastrophe, and we must not allow this to happen in Utah. Commercial tar sands production has not yet begun at PR Spring, and there is still time to weigh in to stop it!

Take Action

The Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining (DOGM) should not approve the Revised Notice of Intent for Large Scale Mining at PR Springs.  DOGM is accepting public comments until May 18. Please speak up for the Colorado Basin and a future free of dirty fossil fuels. 

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