Forget Tar Sands Oil

Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)March 4, 2013

The byproduct known as Petcoke is far worse.

Oil Change International.

Petroleum Coke: The Coal Hiding in the Tar Sands

It is a well established fact that full exploitation of the tar sands is a grave threat to the climate. Emissions from tar sands extraction and upgrading are between 3.2 and 4.5 times higher than the equivalent emissions from conventional oil produced in North America.On a lifecycle basis, the average gallon of tar sands bitumen derived fuel has between 14 and 37 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than the average gallon of fuel from conventional oil.

But as bad as these impacts already are, existing analyses of the impacts of tar sands fail to account for a byproduct of the process that is a major source of climate change causing carbon emissions: petroleum coke �" known as petcoke. Petcoke is the coal hiding in North America’s tar sands oil boom.

Petcoke is like coal, but dirtier. Petcoke looks and acts like coal, but it has even higher carbon emissions than already carbon-intensive coal.

On a per-unit of energy basis petcoke emits 5 to 10 percent more carbon dioxide than coal.
A ton of petcoke yields on average 53.6 percent more CO2 than a ton of coal.
The proven tar sands reserves of Canada will yield roughly 5 billion tons of petcoke �" enough to fully fuel 111 U.S. coal plants to 2050.
Because it is considered a refinery byproduct, petcoke emissions are not included in most assessments of the climate impact of tar sands or conventional oil production and consumption. Thus the climate impact of oil production is being consistently undercounted.

Petcoke in the tar sands is turning American refineries into coal factories.

There is 24 percent more CO2 embedded in a barrel of tar sands bitumen than in a barrel of light oil.
15 to 30 percent of a barrel of tar sands bitumen can end up as petcoke, depending on the upgrading and refining process used.
Of 134 operating U.S. refineries in 2012, 59 are equipped to produce petcoke.
U.S. refineries produced over 61.5 million tons of petcoke in 2011 �" enough to fuel 50 average U.S. coal plants each year.
In 2011, over 60 percent of U.S petcoke production was exported.

Keystone XL will fuel five coal plants and thus emit 13% more CO2 than the U.S. State Department has previously considered.

Nine of the refineries close to the southern terminus of Keystone XL have nearly 30 percent of U.S. petcoke production capacity, over 50,000 tons a day.
The petcoke produced from the Keystone XL pipeline would fuel 5 coal plants and produce 16.6 million metric tons of CO2 each year.
These petcoke emissions have been excluded from State Department emissions estimates for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Including these emissions raises the total annual emissions of the pipeline by 13% above the State Department’s calculations.

Cheap petcoke helps the coal industry.

As a refinery byproduct, petcoke is “priced to move”, selling at roughly a 25 percent discount to conventional coal.
Rising petcoke production associated with tar sands and heavy oil production is helping to make coal fired power generation dirtier and cheaper �" globally.
From January 2011 to September 2012, the United States exported over 8.6 million tons of petcoke to China, most of which was likely burnt in coal-fired power plants.

“PetKoch”: The largest global petcoke trader in the world is Florida based Oxbow Corporation, owned by William Koch �" the brother of Charles and David Koch.

Oxbow Carbon has donated $4.25 million to GOP super PACs, making it the one of the largest corporate donors to super PACs.
Oxbow also spent over $1.3 million on lobbyists in 2012.

To date, the impacts of petcoke on the local and global environment have not been considered by regulatory bodies in assessing the impacts of the tar sands. Petcoke’s full impacts must be considered by the European Union in its debate on the Fuel Quality Directive, by the U.S. State Department in its consideration of the climate impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline, and by Canadian, American, and European governments in tar sands policies across the board.

Increasing petcoke use is a clear result of the increasing production of tar sands bitumen. Petcoke is a seldom discussed yet highly important aspect of the full impacts of tar sands production. Factored into the equation, petcoke puts another strong nail in the coffin of any rational argument for the further exploitation of the tar sands.

Download your very own pdf below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Petcoke.

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jodik_gw

(Heavy sigh combined with head shake...)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:44AM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

One of the investigative sites sent a plane over the tarsands to take pix. The piles of petroleum coke were impressive, and you know the fossil fools aren't going to let these piles just sit around.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:55AM
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david52_gw

Well, thats news to me. Seems ya learn something not particularly encouraging every day.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:00AM
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chase_gw

What an embarrassment to Canada and Canadians but until the people of Alberta say no to the development of the tar sands, and Mr Harper stops pandering to the industry, the destruction of our environment will continue.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:15AM
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RpR_(3-4)

Go petcoke, you hoser.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:52PM
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heri_cles

Well thank you for posting the link to this informative article brushworks.
People need to start reading up on these issues and taking some action to stop big money interests from destroying our planet with short term greed.

I am concerned that President Obama is going to fold on the KXL under withering pressure from the Right and the lack of support from his constituents except for the far Left - the Sierra club and green energy people.

Meanwhile, the Southern section of the KXL has been started and all the steel has pipe has already been purchased (from China, not from Ohio steel plants).

I wish young people, those who this will impact long after us oldies are gone, would stand up and protest this. What are they doing, hoping that we will drag our old bones out in the streets like we are in our twenties again?
I suppose jobs are more of an immediate concern for them but once you destroy the environment, the air and water, it is gone for good.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:32PM
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esh_ga

Posted by RpR_ 3-4 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 12:52

Go petcoke, you hoser.

What?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:33PM
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chase_gw

After that report from the State Department ....I bet the President caves. Then you can stop blaming Canadians.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:37PM
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jodik_gw

"...taking some action to stop big money interests from destroying our planet with short term greed."

Like that's gonna happen. Look where the influence is concentrated.

I have my doubts that voting does much good, at all.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 3:01PM
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ohiomom

Some young people did stand up/protest against corporate greed ... they were mocked, ridiculed (told to "get a job") and beaten down by the military state.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 3:06PM
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chase_gw

You are so right OM.......but maybe someday.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Oil_Robb(3)

America knows it has to buy our oil because if you dont we are sending it to China whom has allready invested billions and when the westen pipeline is complete the oil companies will be able to get 100% of the market price. We know have to sell to America at a 20% reduction because we are land locked.

lolol@ Sierra club libtards and the global warming fear mongers

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 3:22PM
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jodik_gw

Won't you be surprised when you finally exit that bubble and figure out Global Warming is a reality...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 4:51PM
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RpR_(3-4)

Posted by jodik
"Won't you be surprised when you finally exit that bubble and figure out Global Warming is a reality.."---------------No one has said global climate change is/was not happening.

It is the wild arse guesses by self-serving experts worshiping at the altar of Algore the Magnificent that intelligent people reject.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 5:26PM
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chisue

Go Big Oil! (Echoing that heavy sigh, jodik.)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 6:11PM
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esh_ga

I'd be happy for Canada to send their oil to China via some other pipeline. America is not "buying" your oil, we're processing it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 8:35AM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

I'd be happy for Canada to send their oil to China via some other pipeline.

They're trying. Canada's First Nations are resisting (likely to the same end as USA).

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 9:01AM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

It's more important to leave that product in the ground. Whether it's burned here or there, the grave consequences of accelerated global warming will punish us equally.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 9:07AM
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esh_ga

brush, you know that the greed of man won't let that stay in the ground ... thar's money to be made, you see, that's all that matters.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 9:11AM
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jodik_gw

What I can't fathom in all this is how these corporate or industry 'leaders', and I use the term loosely, think they can rape the planet, suck it dry of every resource, pollute it, and still have it support a future for their children, and their grandchildren... and their children... and so on. Or isn't a future at all important to them? Don't they care whether or not their progeny live or die? Or is money really so important that they'd risk the lives of their own offspring, and everyone else on the planet, for the sake of material comfort today? How does one justify such behavior?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:08AM
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vgkg(Z-7)

jodik, money is the answer to all of those questions. A survivalist with a billion dollars figure that they can wait it out within their self contained fortresses scattered around the planet until everyone except their own kind die off. They bought the earth so they believe that they should inherit it. The Survival of the Richest era will ring in a new future of Adams and Eves, or so they think.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:54AM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

How can you forget it?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:48AM
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