Well, it has been another busy couple of weeks. I have been working with a leader of the mining community to develop renewable energy projects on mining land in Nevada, and have contributed to Jill Derby’s Energy Plan. Jill Derby is an excellent candidate running for Congress this year.
Another interesting item this week is that I am preparing to head to the Athabasca Oil Sands next week, the largest deposit of bitumen in Alberta, Canada. Bitumen is low grade oil that requires tremendous amounts of energy to render a useful product. This large deposit contributes to Canada having the second largest known reserves of oil in the world.
Extraction of the bitumen has very large environmental and societal costs. Along with a helicopter ride over the area, I’ll also be exploring the refineries, tailing ponds and mines by foot and vehicle. I’ll be meeting with executives of Suncor Energy, a major player in this project, along with water and wildlife biologists, representatives and chiefs of several of the areas native communities, the past Provincial Minister of Environment and director of the Mackenzie River Project/WWF-Canada. Without a doubt, this trip will be fascinating and educational. I hope to take my experiences and apply them to the work I do developing renewable and energy efficiency projects.