Try as they might, tar sands and oil shale will never be profitable without using massive amounts of public money to prop up their business models. With low oil prices and a very risky political climate, these companies are having an impossible time securing investors to move forward with their projects.
We are winning, slowly, determinedly, and with lots of fun, by creating a risky business atmosphere for these foolish ventures. Lawsuits slow the process, direct action slows the progress, oil prices fluctuate, and now – with the recent announcement by U.S. Oil Sands that it is drastically slowing down construction of the PR Spring tar sands mine – we have some room to breathe.
But, while the companies lay off workers and bide their time, leaving vast areas in the process of being strip-mined, they are also working in our county governments, in UDOT, with SITLA, and with the CIB to take millions of dollars of public money and spend it on infrastructure that these failing companies need. Right now, we need to challenge all of these institutions. We need our money to go toward locally driven, community-controlled alternative energy projects, public transportation and food security, not wasted on a dying, speculative industry that would change our climate beyond imagination.