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Estonia is being touted as the OIL SHALE SUCCESS STORY.  It is not.  It is an economic and environmental failure.  It took decades for Estonia to find a way to refine the oil from oil shale, causes 80% of Estonia's pollution, and only functions because it is HIGHLY SUBSIDIZED by the government.  It's a socialist business model.

Now Utah is about to be oil shale mined because "OIL SHALE HAS BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL IN ESTONIA" so out came my research hat.  

The following is what I have found.  What look like actual lies about oil shale production in Estonia made by those looking for investments in Utah oil shale production.

Keep in mind, if they mine oil shale in Utah, they will do so near the Green and White Rivers, which flow into the Colorado River as well as near Utah's key water reservoirs.  It's a damn desert!  Estonia's oil shale refineries are near a huge natural water resource.

EESTI is owned by the Estonian government.  Enefit is the US branch of EESTI.  The statements made about oil shale by Enefit and EESTI do NOT match.

So let's start with the huge differences in statements made by representatives of Enefit and EESTI.

Please open Eyes on Enefit: Conflicting Claims to READ THE HUGELY CONFLICTING STORIES told by Enefit and EESTI (the list is too long to copy/paste or to take screen shots of)

Here is an example:

Enefit says (referring to the Estonian oil shale plants btw):

“And most importantly for our project in Utah, and for our activities here in the U.S., we also have demonstrated proven commercial shale oil production. We have our own proprietary technology. We have our own operating plants. And we’ve been operating those plants for more than 30 years. And we produce about 1 million barrels a year.”

- Rikki Hrenko, CEO of Enefit America Oil.  

Here's what EESTI says:

“But it is not a big surprise that a new technology [Enefit 280] does not work right away.”

- Sandor Liive CEO, Eesti Energia.  

OK, one more:
Enefit says:

“And most importantly for our project in Utah, and for our activities here in the U.S., we also have demonstrated proven commercial shale oil production. We have our own proprietary technology. We have our own operating plants. And we’ve been operating those plants for more than 30 years. And we produce about 1 million barrels a year.”

- Rikki Hrenko, CEO of Enefit America Oil.

EESTI says:

“The [Utah] tests are not promising,”

- Eesti Energia internal document obtained by Eesti Ekspress. Estonian Public Broadcasting. January 24, 2013.

Who do you believe?  Newly formed Enefit who has never mined or refined oil shale or EESTI who has mined and refined oil shale for decades at a financial and environmental loss?

So where is Estonia?  The oil shale plants are in the NE corner, on the border with Russia.

Estonia Position in Europe

Estonia's oil shale is an environmental failure.  See these mountains of shale ash AFTER the oil has been removed.  Some of them are on fire and the fires cannot be put out

Mountain of Oil Shale Ash in Estonia

Oil Shale Ash Mountain on Fire, can't extinguish it

Here's a polluted lake near some shale oil ash mountains:

Oil Shale Power Plant Pollutes lake

And now a US division of EESTI, Enefit, wants to mine about thousands of acres of Utah's pristine mostly waterless wilderness.

The whole story is below, but here are a couple of snippets:

Oil shale causes 80% of Estonias pollution:
checksandbalancesproject.org/2013/04/08/oil-shale-causes-...

The oil shale in Estonia produces 46% ash waste, which has to be washed away with a lot of water, into holding ponds pictured here, the HUGE turquise ponds adjacent to Estonia's oil shale plants:  

Eesti Power Plant, Narva, Estonia

Balti Power Plant, Narva Estonia

EESTI has only been able to operate because it is highly subsidized by Estonia, which owns EESTI.  So oil shale energy is not econimically feasible.
checksandbalancesproject.org/2013/05/09/groups-new-oil-sh...

BACKGROUND:

Enefit is a new company, the US holding of Estonia's state-owned energy company, EESTI.  

Enefit American Oil was formerly known as Oil Shale Exploration Company, LLC. As a result of the acquisition of Oil Shale Exploration Company, LLC by Eesti Energia AS, Oil Shale Exploration Company, LLC's name was changed.
From Enefit's awesomely designed website you would never guess it is new and owned by Estonia.  

And this Enefit Utah website makes oil shale production look like Sweet Mary Sunshine meets bliss.

Eesti Energia intends to bring the Narva technology to Utah, where Enefit American Oil controls 30,000 acres of oil shale-rich leases on private, state and federal lands.

30,000 freaking acres of oil shale mining in addition to tar sands and fracking wells, all on this pristine, eastern Utah desert land near the banks of two rivers flowing into the Colorado River.

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?  DESTROY THE ENTIRE WATER SUPPLY FOR UTAH, NEVADA AND CALIFORNIA?

Utah Tar Sand Leases w:Google Earth view incuded

Here's a glimpse of how badly EESTI'S oil shale energy source pollutes.

From the article linked below:

"Contaminated groundwater, 600-foot high piles of oil shale waste that spontaneously ignite, and the emission of “lots of carbon dioxide”; all of this comes from a company that claims to be “highly dedicated to lessening the environmental impact of our production processes.” A look at the facts reveals that, despite its claims, Estonian oil shale company Eesti Energia’s operations have been anything but environmentally friendly.

For several decades Eesti Energia, an Estonian government-owned corporation, has been extracting oil shale, and using it to generate Estonian electricity at a stunning environmental cost. In the United States, Eesti Energia is known as Enefit. In 2011, Enefit bought the largest privately held oil shale reserve in Utah, and since then it has been experimenting with oil shale found on that land.

"Eesti Energia’s environmental track record shows its claims of environmental friendliness ring hollow. Oil shale production’s health and environmental risks present a clear case against allowing oil shale companies increased access to public lands. Until they can prove they have a commercially viable technology that won’t pollute our communities’ air and water supplies with harmful waste, they shouldn’t receive more handouts."

checksandbalancesproject.org/2013/02/26/oil-shale-extract...

Furthermore, US Enefit's owners are having financial challenges:
checksandbalancesproject.org/2013/02/27/eyes-on-enefit-un...

Even a former VP of Red Leaf Resources, a smaller Utah player hoping to reap the rewards of Utah's oil shale with their never used or tested "new" technology slams Estonia's EESTI:

“I worked in Estonia for several years…The old antiquated surface retorts that [Eesti Energia] use are pretty nasty business…They produce a lot of semicoke. You know, they call them the Estonian Alps…I can’t tell you exactly all the technical details of it, but it’s – it’s much improved, but you would never want the retorts that are operating – operating in Estonia to come to the United States.”

– Anton Dammer, Senior Vice President of Red Leaf [Resources]. CQ Transcript, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. 10 May 2012.

Red Leaf is promising a waterless oil shale mining and refining process THAT HAS NOT BEEN BUILT AND TESTED YET using Utah oil shale.

Lastly, take a close look at the pictures of the raved about Estonian owned EESTI oil shale power plants.  They are old.  These plants are what are being touted as the "miracle of oil shale energy"

Eesti Power Plant - 4

Eesti Power Plant - 1

Just what the highly polluted area where they want to put this impending disaster of Utah needs, giant smoke stacks:

Balti Power Plant - 2

I found them on google earth at these coordinates.  Both are located in NE Estonia, Narva, on the border w/Russia:

EESTI Power Plant
59.269565° N, 27.902184° E

BALTI Power Plant
59.353452°N 28.122811°E

Wikipedia:  Narva Power Plants
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narva_Power_Plants

Upon closer examination, it is difficult to understand why the Estonian oil shale power source is so highly regarded by those hoping to reap oil shale in Utah.

Enefit holds the largest amount of land in Utah.

Here are some other links.

In summary:

The oil shale in Utah is not like the oil shale in Estonia.  Utah's oil shale is stronger and drier, no surprise:
www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/55701459-79/utah-shale-oil-es...

The oil shale in Estonia produces 46% ash waste, which has to be washed away with a lot of water, into holding ponds.  Those are the turquise ponds in see in the pics.

EESTI has only been able to operate because it is highly subsidized by Estonia, which owns EESTI.  So oil shale energy is not econimically feasible.
checksandbalancesproject.org/2013/05/09/groups-new-oil-sh...

Republicans are pushing to further subsidize oil shale with our tax dollars.
checksandbalancesproject.org/2013/05/22/same-story-differ...

Oil shale causes 80% of Estonias pollution:
checksandbalancesproject.org/2013/04/08/oil-shale-causes-...

Last but not least, there's THE WATER ISSUE.

Utah's oil shale is located in a very dry, desert area.

Oil shale extraction, production, etc requires a lot of water.

"Water is likely to be available for the initial development of an oil shale industry, but the size of an industry in Colorado or Utah may eventually be limited by water availability."

The quote is taken from

A Better and Coordinated Understanding of Water Resources Could Help Mitigate the Impacts of Potential Oil Shale Development
www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-35

And that other needed-for-survival commodity:  AIR

"Study finds oil and gas drilling caused air pollution in West

Leaks from pipes and tanks and fumes from pumps, dryers and compressors were major sources of volatile organics. Drill rigs and fracking were sources of nitrogen oxides and methane, according to the study."

www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22623664/study-finds-o...

It is astounding that there is an actual debate about tearing up and fracking the banks of reservoirs like Starvation in Duschesne, the White and Green Rivers that flow directly into the Colorado River, and within proximity of desert acquifers.

But what do I know!

We all need to study this issue.  

Without water and breathable air, we Utahns will be in one huge pickle.

Originally posted to War on Error on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 06:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group.

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