First U.S. Tar Sands Mine to Proposed in Utah Amid Debate

Filed in Gather News Channel by on April 11, 2011 0 Comments

The first U.S. tar sands mine has been proposed in Utah, but it has attracted its share of debate. There is sticky tar beneath the Uinta Basin in the state. Some people hope that this discovery will provide a new source of domestic oil.

First U.S. Tar Sands Mine to Proposed in Utah Amid DebateCrude oil prices have soared over $100 per barrel. America is looking to reduce its dependence on foreign oil amid widespread unrest in oil producing countries. However, there are loads of wildlife living in the Uinta Basin like elk, bear and bison on top of the proposed tar sands mine.

Alberta-based Earth Energy Resources Inc. wants to start the first U.S. tar sands mine. It would be 62-acres big. The plan is to mine the tar soaked soil and produce petroleum from it, which would be the first time it has ever been attempted on such a scale. The 62-acre mine is just the beginning though because the company holds the lease to 7,800 acres in Utah. They estimate that there are 250 million barrels that can be recovered from the sands.

The fact that oil prices are so high makes it profitable to extract oil from tar sands. The environmental group Living Rivers is concerned, though, that if the mining starts, it will end up growing and destroying the environment in Utah.

While this may produce some domestic oil, but it seems like the money would be better invested into other sources of energy rather than in strip mining to gather this unconventional source of oil. What do you think? Should the company start a tar sands mine in Utah, or should they look elsewhere?

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