Home news features environment Fighting Goliath -- and our addiction to oil

Fighting Goliath -- and our addiction to oil

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A massive boring machine headed for Canada's oil sands creates a jarring juxtaposition between wilderness and humans in Idaho. [Photo Credit: FightingGoliath.Org]

If you don’t think that the gasoline you pump into your gas tank doesn’t have profound effects on people and places far, far away, think again.

Pictures and video make our gasoline consumption’s connection to things in faraway places much more real than words.

So we’ll keep words to a minimum here. But we do need to give you some background:

The truly massive efforts to extract oil from Canada’s oil sands – a process which is exacting tremendous environmental damage on the boreal forests of Canada – requires truly massive pieces of drilling equipment and machinery. Many of these pieces of equipment are traveling truly massive distances, primarily from South Korea to Canada, which is the United States’ number one supplier of foreign oil.

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Canada's oil sands area covers a truly massive swath of Alberta. [Graphics Credit: Norman Einsten, Wikipedia.Org]

This means, among other things, that huge drilling bores, etc. are slicing their way through pristine wilderness areas in the American northwest on tiny roads that must be shut down for hours in both directions to allow their transport.

Fighting Goliath
A grassroots group about which we’ve written before -- Fighting Goliath – has sought to stop the transport of this machinery through Idaho, so far without success.

However, Fighting Goliath continues to courageously fight on and to chronicle both the battle and the movement of giant pieces of oil sands drilling machinery through the wilderness of Northern Idaho. In fact, there have been some miscues in the transportation, including at least one incident in which a transport vehicle and its contents clipped a power line and disrupted power supplies.

Canada’s oil sands, which provide the U.S. with one million barrels of oil a day, are providing more and more of America’s oil.

TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline
And there’s another massive project on the way as a result of the oil sands, or, really, as a result of America’s insatiable appetite for oil, with 70% of that oil going to fuel the U.S. transportation sector, meaning your car, mine, your neighbor’s and hundreds of millions of other American vehicles.

That project: A proposed oil pipeline that will slice through thousands of miles of American farmland and push oil in pipes over some of America’s biggest aquifers, from Canada, all the way to the Gulf Coast.

Yes, indeed, America’s – and your own – addiction to oil has profound consequences for lots of folks in places far, far away that most of us never think about, or never see. But just because we don’t see the effects of our oil addiction, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

As the dramatic pictures included here show, oil’s tremendous impact on lives and our environment is not only happening, all of the time, all over the world, but is having a truly massive impact on the planet.

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Protesters are dwarfed by the boring machinery whose transport they are seeking to halt. [Photo Credit: FightingGoliath.Org]

What you can do to help stop the Canada oil sands debacle

1. Check out the eye-opening web site, Dirty Oil Sands.
2. Sign on to The Sierra Club’s ‘Stop the Oil Sands Pipelines’ petition.
3. Inform your friends and family about the oil sands, the proposed pipeline, and the proposed shipment of gargantuan pieces of equipment through pristine U.S. wilderness areas.
4. Go to the web site ‘Fighting Goliath’ and learn more about how you can help local Idahoans stop the shipment of giant oil sands equipment through one of America’s most scenic areas.
5. Most importantly, consume less oil! There are multiple ways to reduce your oil consumption-->

  • Drive less and walk, bike and take public transportation more.
  • Drive more conservatively: Don’t speed, accelerate evenly, and don’t wait until the last second to brake.
  • Keep your vehicle’s tire pressure at recommended levels.
  • Buy a fuel efficient gasoline car.
  • Buy a hybrid.
  • Buy a plug-in hybrid such as a Chevy Volt
  • Buy an electric car such as a Nissan LEAF.
  • Buy an electric car or plug-in hybrid – or both -- and power as many miles driven as possible via electricity generated by renewable energy forms such as solar, wind and geothermal.

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