Oil Sands or Tar Sands? Actually, they're neither

Oil Sands or Tar Sands? Actually, they’re neither

Oil Sands or Tar Sands? Actually, they're neither
Naming Alberta bitumen has become a sticky topic

As the publisher of an online journal focusing on Canada’s environment and resource economy, the issue of what to call Alberta’s oil patch is an increasingly, um, sticky subject.

Do we use “oil sands”, capitulating to the industry’s late but valiant rebranding effort, or keep to “tar sands”, which is how we’ve generally referred to it in the past? Or, like the Huffington Post and other newer, online publications, float between the two, depending on the story and author – which is what we’re doing more of lately.

Neither oil nor tar

The simple fact of the matter is that viscous, sand-encased substance lying under the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin is neither oil nor tar. Which makes it hypocritical and disingenuous for industry advocates to dismiss their critics for using the word “tar”, while at the same time misrepresenting their product as “oil”.

One thing that substance is most definitely not is sweet, light crude. It’s bitumen. At best, after considerable refining, it will become synthetic crude (or “syncrude”) and various other fuels and petrochemical products. It is never, nor will it ever be oil.

I have always preferred “tar sands”, not because of its activist connotation, but because I believe tar more closely reflects the defining characteristics of bitumen than does oil. Of course, tar is not a single, naturally-occurring substance – rather “a very thick, black, sticky liquid…used especially for road surfaces”, as Merriam-Webster’s defines it. (On that note, a contractor I hired to patch a leaking crack between the asphalt and concrete perimeter at the rear of my building recommended a bitumen product for the job, which worked like a hot damn).

Says Wikipedia, “Tar can be produced from coal, wood, petroleum, or peat. It is black, and a mixture of hydrocarbons and free carbon.” A sticky, black substance often derived from coal or petroleum, which is used to patch roads. Sounds an awful lot like bitumen to me.

All of this matters because Alberta bitumen has a bigger environmental footprint than conventional oil – from the water and energy required to extract it, to the condensate required to dilute it and move it through a pipeline, to the emissions from refining and ultimately burning it. When it spills, like it did from an Enbridge pipeline into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, it can prove a god awful mess to clean up (a misnomer itself, as this Michigan spill will never truly be cleaned up). So confusing bitumen with oil is letting it off the hook for being something quite different.

“Tar Sands” can be such a turn-off

That said, I always want to reach new readers, especially with regards to the vital conversation on Canada’s energy future. And the fact is, the oil industry and Harper government, though late out of the gate, have been highly effective at marginalizing the term “tar sands” and those who use it as left-wing nuts and out-of-touch tree-huggers. I’m not saying they’re objectively right about this. Of course they aren’t, especially with the sort of polarizing language they increasingly apply to anyone who dares question the industry: “radical”, “extremist”, or the most egregious, “eco-terrorist”.

Look, anthropogenic climate change is real. Even the oil industry is acknowledging as much these days. Alberta’s toxic tailings ponds are leaking into the Athabasca River – even the Harper government’s scientists recognize this now. So the notion that raising issues with the oil/tar sands makes one an extremist or even terrorist is as obscene as it is preposterous and only serves to further polarize the nation. For that, the industry and its government partners merit recrimination. Heck, even Conservative ex-PM Joe Clark thinks as much.

Nevertheless, the success of the oil lobby in terms of shifting the language paradigm around Alberta bitumen is a present reality which I feel compelled at least to confront.

American author stymied by oil sands/tar sands debate

Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Tony Horwitz encapsulated the issue on CBC radio’s The Current this past week while discussing his time in Alberta researching a new book. Host Anna Maria Tremonti asked, “When you got to Fort MacMurray, were you saying oil sands or tar sands?” Horowitz replied:

[quote]I was new to this topic and was sort of an agnostic on that question, but it quickly became clear to me that saying ‘tar sands’ would tar me as a hostile environmentalist. So, I began to say ‘oil sands’. Now that I’m back here in the US, I have to say most of the conversation, it’s ‘tar sands’ – but it’s a mark of how politicized this issue is that we can’t even agree on what to call this substance.[/quote]

Environmentalists frame tar sands early on

“Oil sands” wasn’t always the go-to moniker for Alberta bitumen. In a rare coup for the environmental movement, the early rounds of the PR war over Alberta’s massive bitumen deposits went to tree-hugging opponents. The term, “tar sands” stuck in the public consciousness, both in Canada and amongst a growing legion of international critics.

Peter Essick's photos for National Geographic gave the oil sands a black eye
Peter Essick’s National Geographic photos gave the oil sands a black eye

This was the kind of rebranding exercise that is so often the province of “free market” conservatives and their pollsters – like Frank Luntz, who advised the Bush Administration to substitute “climate change” for global warming, in order to make it sound less alarming.

Sometime around the 2009 publication of National Geographic’s  groundbreaking photo essay, titled “Scraping Bottom”, the oil lobby recognized it had a real branding problem on its hands. The cover story used the term “oil sands”, but the moonscape images it yielded fit perfectly into the environmental movement’s framing of the “tar sands”.

Soon, the industry and its Harper government allies would be racking up “Fossil” awards at annual climate summits, battling to keep the European Commission from slapping a surchage on Canadian bitumen exports (a battle it is losing, as the European Parliament recently recommended extending the EU’s Fuel Quality Directive beyond 2020) and dealing with the Obama Administration’s stonewalling on the Keystone XL pipeline – not to mention heavy-duty opposition to Alberta pipelines proposed to cross BC.

Oil lobby’s PR flacks play catch-up…and quickly

Somewhere in there, the industry got its act together and decided to go public with a multi-million dollar rebranding effort. This included the “Ethical Oil” concept (though you’ll never get any of them to admit a direct connection between this group,  the Harper government and the oil industry). But, more importantly, it revolved around a massive advertising campaign – encompassing print, online, radio and television – dousing the Canadian public in saccharine ads extolling the virtues of improved technology, remediated wetlands and indispensable economic benefits.  All emblazoned with two words: “OIL SANDS “.

A leaked 2013 Postmedia sales pitch to the industry’s leading lobby, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), offered to manufacture sympathetic news coverage across its national newspaper chain. Not long after this pitch, Postmedia demoted star national energy reporter Mike De Souza through the cancellation of its parliamentary bureau.

This on top of paid speaking engagements for two of the CBC’s most prominent on-air talents, National anchor Peter Mansbridge and pundit and radio host Rex Murphy. Neither of these newsmen and none of these outlets has seen fit to acknowledge any impropriety or ethical conflict in these situations.

So today, a survey of the nation’s leading media publications reveals that essentially all of them have chosen “oil” over “tar”. For Sun News and the CBC,  “oilsands” is the most consistent choice – with the occasional “oil sands” mixed in.

The Globe and Mail prefers a space between oil and sands, as does the National Post, though parent Postmedia doesn’t appear to have a national policy on the subject yet, as The Vancouver Sun usually opts for “oilsands”. Meanwhile,  CAPP itself uses “oil sands”.

Bigger than Po-tay-to/Po-tah-to

As author Horwitz noted, it’s pretty well impossible to engage in a sound debate  about the oil sands/tar sands if we can’t even agree on what to call them.

Defaulting to oil sands may ensure a wider readership for our stories at The Common Sense Canadian, but in capitulating to the oil lobby’s choice of language, I recognize would be helping to legitimize its corporate, PR flack misnomer, the “oil sands.” Moreover, calling it “oil” glosses over the important differences between these two products – from the water and climate issues, to the properties which may very well make bitumen more prone to spills and more difficult to clean up. The consequences of this word choice are far more serious than po-tay-to/po-tah-to.

So how about we split the difference and call them what they really are: The Bitumen Sands?

Maybe not as catchy, but a hell of a lot more honest.


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

34 thoughts on “Oil Sands or Tar Sands? Actually, they’re neither

  1. Convert 8 Methane gases, into 4 Ethane gases! 8C – 4C2
    Then convert those 4 Ethane gases into 2 Butane gases! 4C2 – 2C4
    Then convert those 2 Butane gases into 1 Octane gas! 2C4 – 1C8
    Then condense that Octane gas into Octane gasoline or Jet Fuel!
    We electrolyse 8 flare gas into 1 Jet Fuel! Profitable?

    NL. can use this technology by drilling a well hole from the Avalon Peninsula to take Churchill River electricity under the Atlantic Ocean bottom towards Hibernia Offshore Oil Producing Platform and therefrom another well will go to Hebrun Offshore Oil Producing Platform!

    By using Labrador hydro-electricity those rigs can dispense with the motors aboard those Platforms and electrolyse their Methane into 1/8 as much Octane gasoline! We can get extra Methane gas by horizontally drilling East of their blocks into unclaimed territory!

  2. Why won’t a speculative investor take a shot that I can electrolyse 8 Methane gases (flare gas) into 1 Octane gasoline (Jet Fuel)? The difference in price is the profit!

  3. Seven oh nine – eight three four – nine seven oh oh is my phone number if you want a 40% equity investment in the patent how to make a barrel of synthetic Octane gasoline from eighty-five hundred cubic feet (@ normal pressure) of Methane gas! Prize: patent how to convert said gas into said Octane gasoline! We’ll have the world beating a track to our homes to do business! My best estimate of costs ranges from $4,000 to $20,000!

  4. It is now optimal to scientifically convert 8 natural gases into 8 methane gases! Then scientically convert those 8 methane gases into 1 Octane gasoline! Its’ variable cost is $0.33 / Litre!!!!

  5. You can create Octane gasoline (petroleum or Jet Fuel) from 1) 8 Methane gas or 2) 8 Limestone molecules or 3) 8 Potash Rock molecules!
    Both 2) & 3) must be reacted with Hydro2Chloric acid from a) being electrolysed from buried salts’ Chlorine and b) the 2 Hydrogen being electrolysed from (salt)water, to make Hydro2Chloric acid or H2Cl!
    8 CaCO3 or KCO3 +8 H2Cl = 8 Methane gas + 8 H2O + 8 CaCl or 8 KCl!
    Then chemically convert those 8 Methane gases into 4 Ethane gases!
    Then chemically convert those 4 Ethane gases into 2 Butane gases!
    Then chemically convert those 2 Butane gases into 1 Octane gas!
    Then condense that 1 Octane gas into 1 synthetic Octane gasoline or Jet Fuel that can be combusted in modern car engines!

  6. 8 CaCO3 + 8 H2Cl => 8 CO2 + 8 H2O + 8 CaCl
    8 KCO3 + 8 H2Cl => 8 CO2 + 8 H2O + 8 KCl
    But be careful of (K) Potassium, because it causes strokes & heart attacks!
    Electrolyse those 8 Methane gas into 4 Ethane gas!
    Electrolyse those 4 Ethane gas into 2 Butane gas!
    Electrolyse those 2 Butane gas into 1 Octane gas!
    Condence that 1 Octane gas into 1 Octane gasoline or Jet Fuel that modern car engines are made to combust!

  7. Oil producers to convert 8 limestone into 8 CO2 then into 1 Octane gasoline + 16 Oxygen! This is the future of oil refining! Can you find my phone nuber or email address?

  8. The proper chemical reactiion is 8 (CaCO3) + 16 (HCl) => 8 (CaCl2) + 8 (H2O) + 8 (CO2)!
    The 8 (CO2) is electrically split into 8C and 16O!
    Those 8 Methane gas are then Electrolysed into 4 Ethane gas!
    Those 4 Ethane gas are then Electrolysed into 2 Butane gas!
    Those 2 Butane gas are then Electrolysed into 1 Octane gas!
    That 1 Octane gas iis then Condenced into 1 Octane gasoline!
    Market that Octane gasoline as less harsh for the enviroment than Regular gasoline which has 32 Carbons white Octane gasoline has only 8 Carbons! 3.3 million people will die from excessive CO2 poisoning, mostly around Delhi India but including Pakistan!

  9. The Jet Fuel that results this way of making Octane gasoline means 3/4 of the Carbon not combusted into exhaust! 3/4 less carbon pollution must be desirable to GreenPeace? 3/4 less autopollution in overpopulated cities like New York, London & Beajing (sic)!

    Why less polluting?

    Octane gasoline only has 8 (Oct) Carbons compared to 32 in regular gasoline! Jet Fuel, being lighter, the Jets don’t have over heavy wings of fuel to lug around! Jets pollute less Carbon as a side benefit!

    By making Jet Fuel from limestone &/or potash rock I’ll do the environment good and myself! For every Octane gasoline made, 32-8 =24 Carbons can stay in the ground! Now don’t you want me to succeed in making Jet Fuel and regular gasoline being left in the ground as a result?

  10. We can arrange for someone to purchase 40% of NovaOGas for the 1) legal expence of Incorporating NovaOGas Ltd. and the 2) patent expence of how to chemically convert 8 limestone molecules and 8 potash rock molecules into Octane gasoline + 20 Oxygen atoms & 4 water molecules OR 8 Methane gas atoms into Octane gasoline!

  11. Development time will be optimal next year since A) limestone is just sitting there, B) Hydro-Electricity will begin flowing down NfLb.s’ west coast from Muskrat Falls and C) Hybernia and another Oil Production Platforms will retire next year so we’ll be able to drill down to the salt, produce it, chemically convert it into Hydro-Chloric acid to deliver it to the limestone fields to convert it into synthetic Octane gasoline, jet fuel!

  12. 8 Limestone (Calcium CARBONate) chemically reacts with 8 Hydro-Chloric acid yielding 8 Calcium Chloride + 24 Oxygen + 8 Hydrogen + 8 Methane gas! Electrolyse those 8 Methane into 4 Ethane gas! Electrolyse those 4 Eyhane gas into 2 Butane gas! Electrolyse those 2 Butane gas into 1 Octane gas! Condence that 1 Octane gas into 1 Octane gasoline! That’s how anyone may chemically create synhetic Octane gasoline, jet fuel, from 8 times as much Calcium CARBONate!

  13. William Roy Whiteway Smallwood says:
    November 17, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    How to make synthetic Octane petroleum!
    1) Find the Limestone (Calcium Carbonate CaCO3) or Potash Rock (Potassium Carbonate KCO3)!
    2) Existing reserves, just waiting to be mined, may be found on A} the Port aux Port peninsula, B} just West of St. Anthony, and C} the Buckans area!
    3) 80% of the A) Port aux Port peninsula is Limestone! Limestone also covers B) Buchans area. It is C) West of St. Anthony.
    4) Surface mine the Carbonate.
    5) The Carbonate may be explored by drilling and mining it all over, or under, NfLb!
    6) Electrically split the Sodium Chloride salt into Hydro-Chloric acid (-) and Sodium (+).
    7) React the Carbonate with Hydro-Chloric acid. Get the Hydro-Chloric acid from Hibernia platform salt (NaCl)!
    8) The Carbon bubbles up from the Hydro-Chloric acid, up along with Hydrogen & three times as much Oxygen. HCl + CaCO3 or KCO3 => KCl or CaCl + H + C + 3xO + energy!
    9) I’ll then electrolyze the Carbon to form into Ethane gas, then into Butane gas and ultimately condense into Octane gasoline!
    10) The economic emphasis put on the price of gasoline by this technique will be lower prices for Octane gasoline and relatively raise the prices for regular & deisel although they’ll be also be cheaper, though less cheap! It takes more limestone to make inferior petroleum like Regular & Deisel so I’ll stick with synthetic Octane gasoline!
    11) The economic emphasis will also move away from St.John’s and towards Corner Brook where our chemical conversion of Limestone into synthetic Octane gasoline will at first be centered but as time and exploration march on, it’ll see every nook and cranny of NfLb!
    12) The radiation paths should be shielded with lead walls so the charged radiation paths flow straight ahead extending onwards from 3:00 & 9:00! The radiation, when sheilded by the lead walls, are free to behave normaly where the negative attacking molecules and are simultaneously attacked by the positive molecules!
    13) I’ve already figured out how to chemically convert Limestone into synthetic Octane petroleum the most economic way possible!
    14) I’ve likewise already designed how to arrange the lead walls in the most economic pattern!
    15) The radiation then glides straight ahead and condences into Octane gasoline! Paragraph 16 to 18 are kept ! CONFIDENTIAL !

  14. Dear Premier Ball,
    What follows is a detailed explanation how you can make synthetic Octane gasoline from 1) Port au Ports’ limestone, 2) Hydro-Chloric acid from Hybernias’ salt and 3) Muskrat Falls hydro-electricity!
    a) Chemically react 8 molecules of Calcium CARBONate with 8 Hydro-Chloric acid freeing 8 Methane and 24 atoms of Oxygen and 8 atoms of Hydrogen!
    b) Electrolyse those 8 Methane gases into 4 Ethane gases!
    c) Electrolyse those 4 Ethane gases into 2 Butane gases!
    d) Electrolyse those 2 Butane gases into 1 Octane gases!
    e) Condense those Octane gases into Octane gasoline!
    f) Market that jetfuel + 24 Oxygen + 8 Hydrogen as environmental!

    A) Chemically convert Port au Port Limestone into synthetic Octane gasoline (Jet Fuel)
    B) Get the Hydro-Chloric acid from electrolysing Hibernia salt!
    C) Muskrat Falls hydro-electricity or Gulf Stream D.C. Hydro-Electricity! I know how to convert ocean wave generated D.C. electricity into A.C. electriciity! I can furthermore reverse the process to convert A.C. electricity into D.C. electricity!

    1) Market that Jet Fuel as environmental because it frees 8×3=24 Oxygen for every Jet Fuel molecule it makes!
    2) Export that Jet Fuel
    3) Explore Nfld for Limestone deeper down and produce it from the surface with Nflders who got their experience converting bitumen in Northern Prairies for Suncor!
    Like · Reply · 23 hrs
    William Smallwood
    William Smallwood I can be phoned at 709-834-9700
    Like · Reply · 23 hrs
    William Smallwood
    William Smallwood Before someone thinks of using Potash Rock intead of Limestone: Potassium Chloride in your blood may cause a heart attacks – strokes! It get in your lungs first and works its way to your heart!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs
    William Smallwood
    William Smallwood On the issue of electrolysing Muskrat Falls let my explanation of extracting the waterpower from the dams lowest altitude to preferentially remove the Methyl Mercury from the water because Methyl Mercury is denser than regular water so it’ll be removed first by the low outlet in the dam! Let this exsample show you that I know what I’m talking about!
    2) I freely give this explanation how to make 100% synthetic Octane gasoline (jet fuel) from NfLb.s’ limestone to show I know what I’m talking about!
    3) I withhold only 1 detail about chemically converting limestone into jetfuel! This is to ensure you’ll honour my invention without the oil price lowering effect of patenting it, which would be like a cold metal stab in the back to NfLbers!
    4) Albertas’ KCO3 Potassium CARBONate can make electrolysing Octane gasoline easier than CaCO3 limestone! But I must be warry I don’t make any KCl Potassium Chloride which causes heart attacks / strokes!
    a) Chemically react 8 Calcium CARBONate with 8 Hydro Chloric acid yeilding 8 Methane gas!
    b) Electrolyse those 8 Methane gases into 4 Ethane gases!
    c) Electrolyse those 4 Ethane gases into 2 Butane gases!
    d) Electrolyse those 2 Butane gases into 1 Octane gases!
    e) Condence that Octane gases into Octane gasoline, jet fuel!
    f) Market those (24 Oxygen + 8 Hydrogen) as environmental for every 1 Jet Fuel molecule produced!
    * I should specify that we’ll augment our hydro-electricity from Muskrat Falls with the Hydro-Electricity D.C. that we may garner from the heavy ocean waves that are pounding on Nfld.s’ South Coast! I know both how to generate D.C. electricity from ocean waves and how to convert that D.C. charge into A.C. electrical charge! To the uninitated ocean waves have the acumulation of hundreds of miles of the wind scaffing the ocean! It’s allot of windpower! It offers alot of windpower to NfLb, St.Pierre – Miquelon, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Norway!

  15. 3 Oxygen / 1 Carbon by electrolysing 1 molecule of limestone! That adds up to 24 atoms of Oxygen / 1 molecule of Octane gasoline! That fuel only temporarily holds 16 Oxygen leaving 8 Oxygen free to wait until they are joined by the 16 other Oxygen after being photosynthesyzed by the green Pacific waters! Green Peace take note that Octane gasoline electrolyzers will supply Oxygen to Earth!

    Octane gasoline is the least Carbon polluting fuel you can buy becuase it has only 8 Carbons to pollute the atmoshere with! Any lighter and your talking about a gas, like Methane gas! Any heavier and you have ecess Carbons for the atmoshere to cleanse!

    Joseph R. Smallwood and Robert M. Smallwood gave this knowledge to me to spur NfLb,s’ economy and welcome me back from unconciousness!

  16. Electrolyzing Carbonate rock actually frees 3 Oxygen for every Carbon freed! It also, by making Octane gasoline, MINIMIZES Carbon pollution because it only has 8 Carbons too add to the atmosphere, far lower than other brands of fuel, which carry that Carbon for only marginal benefit!

  17. 1) Get some limestone (Calcium Carbonate) & disolve it with Hydro Chloric acid into Calcium Chloric dust, 3 Oxygen, 1 Methane gas, 2 Hydrogen!

    2) I know how to SEPERATE the METHANE gas from the rest of the gases and dust, as well as electrolyze it into twice the mass until it’s ready to be condensed as pure Octane gasoline!

    3) Electrolyze that Methane gas into Ethane gas C+ C- = 2C

    4) Electrolyze that Ethane gas into Butane gas 2C+ 2C- = 4C

    5) Electrolyze that Butane gas into Octane gas 4C+ 4C- = 8C

    6) Condence that Octane gas into Octane gasoline! It remains a gas from limestone until it is condenced into JET FUEL!
    I’ll try to phone (729-3570) Premier Dwight Balls’ assistant Rodney Mercer to offer him a way to;

    6a) make JET FUEL (pure Octane gasoline) from
    Limestone (Calcium Carbonate) or/& Potsah Rock (Potassium Carbonate or.& Sun Bloc (Calcium biCarbonate)

    6b) (In Texas, Mexico or Algeria) I can alternately make JET FUEL from piped in Methane gas! This way is actually easier but costs more!

    6c) NfLb will be able to utilize Churchill Falls river electricity in NfLb (electrolyzing Methane gas into JET FUEL to export to recover the profit from Churchill Falls and my own ingenuity! We can ALSO harness the South Coasts’, Southwestly wind blown, ocean waves to generate a D.C. electrical current!) We need all electricity to electrolyze petro-gases into doubly dense petro-gases until Octane gas is achieved!

    6d) NfLb will be able to HIRE many of our emmigrants back from Alberta!

    6e) NfLb will be able to build an hydro-electricity system along our South Coast to harvest the South Westerly wind, blown ocean waves, from crashing against our South Coast!

    6f) We can recycle human waste into pure Octane gasoline to keep the environmentalists happy!

    7) I can innovate on my idea and alter the ultimate gasoline to be more like a SUPREME brand of gasoline but to do so requires a) more Carbons and therefore b) more limestone and c) more Hydro-Chloric acid and d) more electricity e) more labour & management time! I think it would be most profitable to make and sell only Octane gasoline at a lower price / liter!

    8) WARNING!!! I was blessed to have over a decade of unconcious sleep to figure out the chemistry and physics of how to chemically convert limestone into Octane gasoline, JET FUEL! So if scientists exhibit skepticism at its’ possiblity, that only shows why they can’t explain how any of the worlds’ petroleum was originally made! Why are they afraid to have me invent how to chemically convert limestone into petroleum?
    I’ll try to phone 729-3570 Premier Dwight Ball today to offer a way to;

    8a) chemically convert limestone (Calcium CARBONate) into JET FUEL!

    8b) (In Texas, Mexico and Algeria) I can alternately make JET FUEL from Methane gas!

    8c) NfLb will be able to utilize Churchill River electricity in NfLb (electrolyzing Methane gas into JET FUEL to be exported to recover the profit from Churchill Falls and my own ingenuity)!

    8d) NfLb will be able to hire many of our immigrants back from Alberta!

    8e) NfLb will be able to build an hydro-electricity generating system along our South Coast to harvest the South Westerly blown waves from crashing against our South Coast!

    8f) NfLb can followup with a shallow well drilling exploration program to extend our limestone deposits throughout NfLb so we’ll meet the demand for our syngas without having to extend our technology to Texas, Mexico or Algeria!

    8g) Inputs for producing petroleum from rock;
    i) Limestone (Calcium CARBONate)
    ii) Hydro Chloric acid from offshore salt deposits!
    iii) Electricity to Electrolyze Methane into Octane gas!
    iv) Human capitol: trained labour from Suncor and Petro-Canada! We need their return to finance NfLbs’ debt! Maybe that’s why Poppy Joe gave me this information!
    v) a) My inventive idea, b) oil company work experiece and c) business education!

    9) Electrolyzed synthetic Octane gasoline makes less Carbon diOxyde than Regular or Deisel because there are fewer Carbons / molecule in the first place! As such it’ll lower Pee-Kings’ over-Carbonization of its’ atmosphere! It’ll mark the begining of the clean air revolution!

    9a) 3 Oxygen for every Carbon +

    9b) less Carbon diOxyde!

    9c) The photosynthesis of the ocean leaves our atmoshere filled up to the brim with fresh Oxygen!

    9d) An in demand supply of gasoline, ready to be electrolyzed totally from NfLb inputs!

    10) I’ll only accept these terms, to allow you to invest in my idea, how to make Octane gasoline, JET FUEL, from limestone;

    10a) My share in NovaOGas will be 60% of common shares for my idea, how to refine pure Octane gasoline from limestone! My solution may appear simple, but why hasn’t the oil industry solved it yet?

    10b) Your investment will be the funds necessary to;
    i) purchase the Come-by-Chance refinary!
    ii) proveup my theory how to make synthetic Octane gasoline from limestone!
    iii) start a local limestone to Octane gasoline operation, at the Port aux Port peninsula!

    10c) So that there is no corruption in NovaOGas I’ll be limited to income I make from dividends! I’ll not get paid an income for acting as President of NovaOGas! You can have your Vice President of Accounting oversee my fiscal operations! I’ll furthermore be ready to answer any questions you may pose to me while under a lie-detector! If I fail this lie-detector I’ll lose my Presidency of NovaOGas and put up for bidding 11% of shares so I’ll be left with 49% of shares!

    10d) This remains a value to you because it’ll make pure Octane gasoline, JET FUEL, from common old, easily found limestone! Most of the worlds’ dry land has been mapped for geology, thus these geologists have already mapped the worlds’ limestone!

    10e) I remain ready to be complient! How may I further what I offer?

    10f) I don’t mind apparently being too talkative cause it only appears that you should be able to make JET FUEL from limestone without my permission! But there is a tiny reason why doing so won’t succeed! You either cheat and fail, then take my offer, unless some competitor agrees to my offer before you’re ready to deal!

    11) Chemically reacting limestone actually liberates 3 Oxygen for every Carbon electrolyzed free! Even if the Carbon is temporarily held by Carbon diOxyde, from burning the JET FUEL, that we electrolyze a spare Oxygen free until it flows with its’ two partners, that are photosynthesized free! Green Peace wants to end this electrolyzing oil from rock! What’s your opinion of Green Peaces stand against the oil sands? Phone me your offer to help, for shares of this venture! William Smallwood @ 709.834.9700

    12) The island-wide exploration of Limestone may consider the geologically mapped 70% minable 1) Port au Port peninsula, 2) the Buchans area, 3) west of St. Anthony & 4) the North Easterly border limestone clifts of Joseph R Smallwoods’ ranch! Limestone bubbles up when in contact with Hydro-Chloric acid!

    13) 4) Also there’s a 4 metres thick, 20 metre tall, limestone wall spanning 2 hills behind, East of, Uncle Ramseys’ house!

    14) This discovery is partly thanks to Prince of Wales Collegiate grade 11 honours Chemistry and Victoria B.C. High Schools’ grade 12 Physics, not at that time taught in Nfld.!

    15) Will the price of gasoline resume its’ climb to $200 / barrel, as it is now rising, or will smarter brains now prevail over this resumption towards high energy prices and finally develop the way of electrolysis to double the gases mass until JET FUEL is attained? I must say I expected more interest in this proceedure than just Texas Governors’ secretary-receptionist twice phoning to see how I was getting on with making synthetic Octane gasoline from Limestone, which she did say is quite common in parts of Texas!

    16) Why did God send me back to Earth? I don’t even recall having been judged by God! Why did I get Poppy Joe & Robert to tell me how to make gasoline from Limestone? I don’t know how to have a good time, living off of my knowledge about oil? The best revenge is living well!

    17) Premier, you should have your computer writing staff write a ‘FORM’ email collection site where I & other NfLbers can copy emails to, and it’ll be as if you typed it in yourself, free from being censored by the U.S. N.S.A.! It would only be prudent to assign it to a small area of your hard disk until your programers have screened it for viruses!

    18) This idea is my only inheritance from my realatives, but it may turn out to be worth more than the total given as inheritances to my relatives! Thanks, Poppy Joe and Robert! Robert did his part partly to get me to pass on my eanings to his daughters!

    19) But Rodney Mercer will be on vacation all this week so I’ll have to delay my request for another week before I can upload this file to the Premier and the Premier will know that the electricity from Labradour can electrolyze limestone into Octane gasoline, JET FUEL! I shall promote a contact site, like this one, only it saves the subject file in a small area of disk space where it can be scanned for viruses before being read! If it is infected by a virus you can totally reFORMAT THAT disk space without even slowing down the rest of the computer system! The infected email shouuld be subject to the routine investigations!

    20) The U.S.A. should switch away from an election by majority! The elected will stand out of the crowd currently spawning Clinton & Trump! The negative put-downs of the current system will be replaced by positive candidate promotions by ranking your politicians! A leadership delegate selected should be replaced by a majority preferred ranking of candidates like how Australia now selects their government until a candidate gets a majority of votes!

    Jody Fifield (834-6500 ext. 104, is the executive – secretary for CBS) suggested that she may forward the copy I sent to her office, to Rodney Mercer, to inturn show it to Premier Dwight Ball! I best wait until Rodney Mercer is back from vacation to follow up on this email! How will this have a good impact on CBS? John Maynard Keynes the Father of Macro-Economics said “All boats rise together on a rising tide!” The boats are citizens and the tide level is the GNP, so we all prosper from a higher GNP or CBS will benefit from my using Churchill Falls electricity to chemically convert Port aux Port limestone into synthetic Octane gasoline and extending their limestone right around NfLb!

    0) Chemmically react either i) Limestone or ii) Potash Rock or iii) Sun Blloc’s Calcium BiCarbomate with an equal quantity of Hydro-Chloric acid to release the Carbonate-Methane gas! The 3 Oxygen and 2 Hydrogen follow the Carbon to the surface! This will appease environmenralists because we Minimize the size of the gasoline to only 8 Carbons as well as produce 3 Oxygen for every Carbon!
    1) Electrolyse that Methane gas into Ethane gas, (while returning the excess Oxygen & Hydrogen to the atmosphere)!
    2) Electrolyze Ethane gas into Butane gas,
    3) electrolyze Butane gas into Octane gas,
    4) and condence Octane gas into Octane gasoline!
    I know how to systematically separate these gases so no intermingling of gases occurs to decrease the efficiency of this refining operation!

    Please phone me at 709-834-9700 to discuss establishing a refining process of Limestone or Potash Rock into JET FUEL! Or write William Smallwood at 91 Cherry Lane, Conception Bay South, NfLb, A1W-3B5, Canada

  18. Reread the end of my last email where it says …
    “This offer is best because 1) it liberates 3 Oxygen for every Methane also liberated, 2) It replaces diesel with No-Lead synthetic Octane gasoline (there are only 8 Carbons in Octane gasoline), & 3) your charity is open to the same 15% reward open to other people!” 4) It also produces 1 Calcium atom for every 1 Carbon atom produced! We need more Calcium!

    Yours sincerely William Roy Whiteway Smallwood 1(709)834-9700

    1. 3 Oxygen for ecery carbon! That is one more than is consumed in carbon dioxide! A gift from the rock to gasoline miners/chemists! I repeat 3, not 2, Oxygen are made from chemically converting Calcium Chlorite into 3 Oxtgen + 1 Carbon! The Atlantic may turn from blue to green to catch up with the P.R.C. photosynthesis to deal with so many lungs just breathing out carbon dioxide!

  19. Tar, baby

    Tar is a viscous black liquid. It is made by the destructive distillation of organic matter. Most tar is produced from coal as a byproduct of coke production, but it can also be produced from petroleum, peat or wood.

    Term misuse
    The word “tar” is often used to describe several different substances which are not actually tar. Naturally occurring “tar pits” (e.g. the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles) actually contain asphalt rather than tar. Tar sand deposits contain various mixtures of sand (or rock) with bitumen or heavy crude oil and not tar, as does the Tar Tunnel in Shropshire. “Rangoon tar”, also known as “Burmese Oil” or “Burmese Naphtha”, is actually petroleum. “Tar” and “pitch” are sometimes used interchangeably; however, pitch is considered more solid while tar is more liquid.


    Definition of TAR SAND

    :  a natural impregnation of sand or sandstone with petroleum from which the lighter portions have escaped

    : sand or sandstone that is naturally soaked with heavy sticky portions of petroleum

  20. I guess at face value you could call me a canadian miner, for this is my occupation. Like most things in life however if we only take things at face value we neglect to see the truth. This is also applicable to the bitumen project. Most people fail to see the true problem because they can not come to terms with the fact that they are the problem. We over consume. Industry is the scapegoat, they are only feeding the addiction. The fact that the addiction is heavily endorsed by the government is an ethical issue in itself, but hey, we voted that into our lives too. The bitumen projects are destructive. When you see it first hand it is overwhelming. If you start to imagine the work it would take to reclaim the whole area you soon realize that it will likely never happen. Unless of course society collectively opens their eyes to the truth and we get a few hundred thousand volunteers and enough donations to fund the massive overtaking. I assure you that once this area is mined out the companies will disappear.

  21. The bitumen sands (as I suppose we could call them in the interests of neutrality) were originally called tar sands back in the 20’s and 30’s, but in the interests of scientific precision the word “tar” came to be avoided because, simply put, there’s no more tar there than there is oil. In chemistry a tar is a dry distillate, but bitumen is no more a dry distillate than (as you correctly point out) it is oil.

  22. It’s worth noting that the term “oil sands” was being used by industry back in the mid-1960s. In fact, my father worked on the construction of the pioneer Great Canadian Oil Sands plant (“GCOS”) around 1965-66.

    There was little, if any, public controversy over the project at the time, so it’s hard to see “oil sands” as purely a PR exercise (then). Nobody cared what the muck was called in those days. I can only assume “oil sands” was chosen mainly because it referred to the intended end product … synthetic crude oil.

    1. Thanks David. Well noted. Both terms do pre-date the recent debate surrounding them. But each was championed by contemporary groups for the different ways in which they help to frame the debate. I would argue the subtext these words have been imbued with has played a key role in the whole conversation, which is largely unfortunate in terms of developing good public policy on the subject.

  23. How about calling it ” the only thing that saved Canada from becoming poor and bankrupt”
    Bunch of hypocrites. You think the US wouldn’t be all over this if it was in their back yard?? You think China would give two shits about the rivers, people, aboriginals? You think Japan would leave it untouched, just like they are leaving the Nuclear waste that’s pouring into the ocean everyday?
    Get a grip. If it can’t be grown, it’s gotta be mined. That includes the toilet seat your sitting on, the lid on your Starbucks coffee, that mobile device or laptop that your ignorant face is buried in and 98% of the products your car is made of, as you burn fuel to drive yourself to a nail appointment to put petroleum products on to display to the world. Proud to be a Canadian miner!!!!!!

    1. Thank you for perfectly illustrating my point about the divise, polarizing nature of this issue, Will.

      1. I’m certain that Will was not polarized by this issue, and certainly not by your writing. You take credit where none is due. Once Will calms down, I’m with him.

        1. Ironic that someone named “Will” has surrendered his to the almighty pay cheque……………..

  24. I liken Peter Mansbridge to Alex Trebek on Jeopardy. Alex comes across as very bright, but of course, he has all the answers written down for him at his fingertips.

    Peter has a long history of schmoozing with the newsmakers. Both he and Wendy were regular attendees at 24 Sussex partying in the Mulroney era, and he has attended at least one Bilderberger meeting where I am sure a real bona fide ‘reporter’ would not attend on the ‘sworn to secrecy’ basis alone.

    Rex is more like the unknown comic from the Gong Show daze.

    Rex is truly an enigma, how a professor at Memorial University could become so disentangled from the englsh language and hopelessly entangled with the conservative reform alliance bowdlerization of politics is certainly light years beyond my comprehension.

    That they both would willingly if not gleefully be succoured by the guile of the CAPP is not so surprising given their past predictable (Peter) and quixotic(Rex) behaviours.

    1. They sold their souls for the almighty dollar. I’m surprised it took as long as it did.
      Another reason to turn the television off when the “News” comes on.

  25. Anyone remember ethical oil? What a joke … it would be funny if it wasn’t so damn sleazy mouthed and insidious. I like this article by Damien for pointing out how language is being used to soften the stench of the actuality. Something we see and hear a lot of these days from the propaganda machine. Bill Maher was on about rewording things last night (March 21 2014) in his New Rules segment on his show for anyone interested.

Comments are closed.