The Utah Tar Sands Roadshow is a listening project and educational presentation about the impact of tar sands extraction on people, water, and the land. Tar sands development is one of the most destructive industries on earth–and a Canadian company is bringing it to Utah unless we rise up to stop it before it starts.
Tar sands are geological deposits containing bitumen. In order recover oil, bitumen must be strip-mined, pulverized, chemically separated, and then extensively refined. This process requires enormous amounts of energy input and requires 1.5 – 3 barrels of water for every barrel of oil created. Utah is the second most arid state in the nation and tar sands extraction would tap already stressed watersheds. The proposed mine lies in the Colorado River watershed, which 30 million people downstream rely on for agriculture and drinking water.
Tar sands mining also requires extensive refinery expansions in Salt Lake City, which will add to the already record level air pollution along the Wasatch Front.
An extractive project of this scale will irreversibly impact the remote and pristine Tavaputs Plateau in Eastern Utah. Some claim there are 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil contained in this large formation. This would mean disaster for the climate as tar sands extraction releases roughly three times more greenhouse gases per barrel than conventional oil.
The Utah Tar Sands Roadshow will journey around the region weaving together stories of resistance and resilience in the face of tar sands and other forms of extreme energy extraction. Our collection of interviews and conversations will be constantly updated on our website and compiled into a production to help educate people on the impacts of tar sands mining in the United States and the world.