This was an interesting bit of information:
The New Dirty Energy. By Drake Bennett, The Boston Globe, August 19, 2007. "For those who dream that high oil prices will help drive America toward a brave new world of clean energy, the MacKay River project in Alberta, Canada, offers a glimpse of the future. The complex is a showpiece of cutting-edge engineering, wresting energy from beneath a swath of boreal forest. Under an unobtrusive spread of buildings, holes drilled at oblique angles free unprocessed fuel from the earth with jets of steam. Thanks to government and private investment, the complex is providing more energy every year, and by 2020, Alberta as a whole is predicted to generate enough to replace a quarter of the United States' current daily oil usage. And as oil prices rise, projects like MacKay River become more and more cost-effective, and more popular. The only problem: The thick, tarry petroleum that the Alberta project pulls from beneath that forest is far dirtier than oil. Alternative energy wasn't supposed to look like this. For years, leading environmental thinkers have argued that high fossil fuel prices are good for the planet, driving investors and customers toward biofuels, solar power, and a host of new energy sources that will quickly become cost-effective... The oil in oil sands is not easily separated out, and the immense amounts of heat required are usually generated with natural gas, giving the oil-sands industry a greenhouse gas footprint much larger than the traditional oil business -- estimates range from 40 percent more to five times the emissions. The process also uses enormous amounts of water: a study (PDF, 42 pages) by the Pembina Institute, a Canadian environmental watchdog organization, found that, depending on the method of extraction, every barrel of oil produced requires 2.5 to 4 barrels of water, all of which is then rendered too polluted to return to the water supply."
Sounds kind of ultimately destructive, do you think? This drilling process was being highly touted in Wyoming - there was no mention of the down side - extravagant use and destruction of useable water and additional greenhouse gas further leading us down the road to more global warming.