The West Coast of the United States and Canada is facing an imminent tar sands oil invasion, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“The West Coast is about to fall victim to a tar sands invasion, unless our leaders choose to protect the health and safety of our communities and say no to Big Oil,” said Anthony Swift, deputy director of NRDC's Canada Project. “At a time when the nation is moving toward a clean energy future, there is no reason to welcome the dirtiest oil on the planet into our communities.”
While the West Coast is not currently the destination for much tar sands oil, the area’s heavy oil refining capacity and deepwater port access make it a likely destination for large amounts of Canadian tar sands oil in the future.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) forecasts that tar sands supply will increase from 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2013 to 6.2 million bpd by 2030. To achieve those volumes, a significant portion of that oil would have to go to the West Coast by a combination of pipelines, rail and tanker.