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Oil Sands Much Cleaner Than Advertised?!


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#1 aliboy

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:22 AM

Fraser Inst. speaker says activists distort oil sands
2012-05-14 20:32 ET - Street Wire

By Stockwatch Business Reporter

"Oil sands developers sell much-needed fuel at a profit and leave the land cleaner than when they found it. That's good enough for me." This is hardly the viewpoint one might expect from the co-founder of Greenpeace. Dr. Patrick Moore, who spoke at a Fraser Institute luncheon in Vancouver on Monday, is an unlikely advocate for the expansion and legitimacy of the Alberta oil sands. Yet he firmly believes Greenpeace and other green groups are wrong to demonize the industry, and asserts their environmental campaigns are increasingly based on fear rather than fact.

The "Greenpeace dropout"

Dr. Moore helped found Greenpeace in 1971 and left it 15 years later, disillusioned with the members' radical anti-science agenda. Now he is an outspoken critic of the "dream fantasy agendas" that mark many a modern green group, and a staunch defender of pragmatic energy policies. The Alberta oil sands, in his view, represent one of Canada's most important and innovative industries.

Not only is oil sands development essential, Dr. Moore argues, but developers often leave the production sites in better environmental shape than they were before oil was taken from the land. Companies are required by law to return their mine sites to thriving ecosystems. Dr. Moore recalls visiting one such reclamation site, where a herd of more than 300 wood bison roamed the land, managed by the Fort McKay First Nation. Trees, shrubs and lakes can return to a former mine site in a blink of Mother Nature's eye.

Ask Greenpeace, though, and this temporary disturbance to the land is portrayed as nothing less than a mini-apocalypse. The group takes aerial pictures of oil sands mines in the middle of operations and falsely implies that this is how they will always look. This is one way such activists distort the debate on environmental issues. Other tactics include peddling unproven beliefs as fact and denouncing those who disagree as "environmental criminals."

Much of this activism is simply misdirected, but there is also a certain hypocrisy among environmentalists who demonize oil companies while using oil to run their cars, heat and cool their homes, and otherwise enjoy a society that depends on oil for over one-third of its energy. Dr. Moore relates the story of the "Greenpeace diesel dilemma," in which Greenpeace members had strong words for a Swedish plant that used wind power when it could, but coal as a backup. Those same members' brand-new ship, which they so proudly touted as wind-powered, relied on regular diesel, not bio-diesel -- Greenpeace is against bio-fuels such as wood, which is scorned as a "Stone-Age fuel" despite being the most abundant renewable energy on the planet -- when the wind died down or blew them the wrong way.

Getting a green grip

Too few environmentalists propose sensible solutions to energy problems, says Dr. Moore. "Apparently it is reasonable to be 'just against' oil pipelines, or 'just against' oil tankers." Activists condemn pipelines and tankers without bothering to explain how Canada would function if Alberta oil could not get to market. This knee-jerk "No!" should not be a satisfactory response.

Dr. Moore says that while Greenpeace's influence over public opinion remains strong, its influence on policy is thankfully waning. This is perhaps the result of the European debt crisis, which was caused in large part by "following Greenpeace's advice" on energy policy. Because wind power and solar power require massive subsidies to compete in the energy market, only countries with money to burn or citizens to tax can afford them -- and burn and tax they have.

Two recent events have given Dr. Moore hope for the future: Canada's abandonment of the Kyoto protocol, "which was a stupid idea to begin with," and the European Parliament's decision not to attend the Rio+20 conference (also called Earth Summit 2012) in Brazil, the stated reason for which is "prohibitively high hotel costs." Dr. Moore believes the public is steadily becoming less enamoured with costly and unreliable alternative energy sources. This is a good thing.

After years of fighting for fact-based environmentalism, Dr. Moore feels that "the chickens are finally coming home to roost." By emphasizing science over sensationalism, he believes the world can meet its energy needs both sustainably and economically.

You can send comments to Karen Baxter: karenb@stockwatch.com

Edited by aliboy, 17 May 2012 - 10:25 AM.


#2 taxi

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:36 AM

Not a big fan of oilsands. Even less of a fan of getting oil from the middle east though. Canada really needs to look at expanding its nuclear power base.

#3 thedestroyerofworlds

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:47 AM

Not a big fan of oilsands. Even less of a fan of getting oil from the middle east though. Canada really needs to look at expanding its nuclear power base.


One can dream, but there are for too many simpletons in the "professional protester" camp. There was a proposal to build a nuclear power plant in Northern Alberta to supply energy needed to extract the oil from the tar sands, ans it is a very energy-intensive process. It would be even cleaner with regards to the amount of Greenhouse gasses that are released to extract the oil.

#4 avelanch

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:48 AM

Not a big fan of oilsands. Even less of a fan of getting oil from the middle east though. Canada really needs to look at expanding its nuclear power base.

yeah, i'm all for mini fusion reactor powered cars too.

#5 Shift-4

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:51 AM

yeah, i'm all for mini fusion reactor powered cars too.


What about rainbow rides on unicorns?
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#6 Raph

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:54 AM

yeah, i'm all for mini fusion reactor powered cars too.


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#7 Ghostsof1915

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:59 AM

The Fraser Institute is a right wing "think tank". In other words they are right wing spin doctors who claim they are unbiased. But clearly they are. They alter the data or cherry pick it to support their so-called claims.

If they had their way, we'd be a polluted, slave labour nation, with no healthcare, no benefits, and Canada would be raped by every other nation. They oppose environmental legislation and enforcement, they are against food or health inspectors. They think the Agricultural Land Commission, who's mandate is protect our farmland, should be abolished so developers, industrial parks can take over all our farmland, so that BC can't grow any crops, or make our own food, and make us vulnerable to importing food from outside of BC.

I've stopped listening to their stupid rants over 20 years ago. Maybe ask them who funded the study. Probably the oil companies that are extracting the oil. Notice they are spending a lot of money on advertising to make it seem that they are doing this in a responsible way. Not.

Watch this documentary and go to google earth and look at the region. See for yourself. H2Oil.

http://moviesonlines...il-2009-online/


Edited by Ghostsof1915, 17 May 2012 - 11:01 AM.

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#8 avelanch

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:03 AM

What about rainbow rides on unicorns?

i'm all for that as well. unicorns are a great source of sustainable magical energy.

#9 taxi

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:07 AM

One can dream, but there are for too many simpletons in the "professional protester" camp. There was a proposal to build a nuclear power plant in Northern Alberta to supply energy needed to extract the oil from the tar sands, ans it is a very energy-intensive process. It would be even cleaner with regards to the amount of Greenhouse gasses that are released to extract the oil.


Northern Alberta would be a perfect place for a nuclear plant too. Zero risk of Earthquakes, relatively cold temperatures, and relatively unpopulated. Current technology allows for much quicker disposal of nuclear waste. Within about 200 years you can get it to safe levels. Obviously not great, but better than the much more long term effects of CO2 production.

What Canadians also don't realize is that we already do have lots of nuclear power. About half of Ontario's power is supplied via nuclear plants.

#10 Phil_314

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:09 AM

I thought all the fuss was about the shipping process of the oil from the sands, and not the oil sands themselves. With all the potential for leakages of the toxic substances on the ground surface from vulnerable pipelines, that was one reason why Northern Gateway was so highly debated.

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#11 Satan's Evil Twin

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:22 AM

The Fraser Institute is a right wing "think tank". In other words they are right wing spin doctors who claim they are unbiased. But clearly they are. They alter the data or cherry pick it to support their so-called claims.

If they had their way, we'd be a polluted, slave labour nation, with no healthcare, no benefits, and Canada would be raped by every other nation. They oppose environmental legislation and enforcement, they are against food or health inspectors. They think the Agricultural Land Commission, who's mandate is protect our farmland, should be abolished so developers, industrial parks can take over all our farmland, so that BC can't grow any crops, or make our own food, and make us vulnerable to importing food from outside of BC.

I've stopped listening to their stupid rants over 20 years ago. Maybe ask them who funded the study. Probably the oil companies that are extracting the oil. Notice they are spending a lot of money on advertising to make it seem that they are doing this in a responsible way. Not.

Watch this documentary and go to google earth and look at the region. See for yourself. H2Oil.

http://moviesonlines...il-2009-online/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjE_dnGgDVU&feature=related


Fraser Institute, supported by dicks Kochs. :lol:

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#12 goalie13

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:10 PM

i'm all for that as well. unicorns are a great source of sustainable magical energy.


But what about the emissions?
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#13 avelanch

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:38 PM

But what about the emissions?

rainbows? they provide jobs for leprechauns and an influx of revenue (capital gains taxes on whole pots of gold) for the government. it's win-win.

#14 goalie13

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:43 PM

rainbows? they provide jobs for leprechauns and an influx of revenue (capital gains taxes on whole pots of gold) for the government. it's win-win.


I was worried about the possible impact of a unicorn flying overhead. It's one thing to have a bird crap on my car, but if all that comes out of that end of a unicorn is rainbows, then it does sound like a viable option.
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#15 avelanch

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 12:58 PM

I was worried about the possible impact of a unicorn flying overhead. It's one thing to have a bird crap on my car, but if all that comes out of that end of a unicorn is rainbows, then it does sound like a viable option.

yup, it's not only a "green" source of energy, but purple, red, yellow, orange and blue as well.

#16 Common sense

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:05 PM

yeah, i'm all for mini fusion reactor powered cars too.


It would suck if there was a car crash.

#17 Common sense

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:08 PM

The Fraser Institute is a right wing "think tank". In other words they are right wing spin doctors who claim they are unbiased. But clearly they are. They alter the data or cherry pick it to support their so-called claims.

If they had their way, we'd be a polluted, slave labour nation, with no healthcare, no benefits, and Canada would be raped by every other nation. They oppose environmental legislation and enforcement, they are against food or health inspectors. They think the Agricultural Land Commission, who's mandate is protect our farmland, should be abolished so developers, industrial parks can take over all our farmland, so that BC can't grow any crops, or make our own food, and make us vulnerable to importing food from outside of BC.

I've stopped listening to their stupid rants over 20 years ago. Maybe ask them who funded the study. Probably the oil companies that are extracting the oil. Notice they are spending a lot of money on advertising to make it seem that they are doing this in a responsible way. Not.

Watch this documentary and go to google earth and look at the region. See for yourself. H2Oil.

http://moviesonlines...il-2009-online/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjE_dnGgDVU&feature=related


I'll wait till you post your scathing critique of the eco-terrorist group known as Greenpeace before passing judgement on the above quote.

#18 avelanch

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:44 PM

It would suck if there was a car crash.

a mini meltdown shouldn't be too bad... just a couple blocks of damage...

besides, it'll be driven by computers so it can avoid a crash.

#19 Shift-4

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:54 PM

a mini meltdown shouldn't be too bad... just a couple blocks of damage...

besides, it'll be driven by computers so it can avoid a crash.


don't you mean flown?
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#20 ronthecivil

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 01:58 PM

I thought all the fuss was about the shipping process of the oil from the sands, and not the oil sands themselves. With all the potential for leakages of the toxic substances on the ground surface from vulnerable pipelines, that was one reason why Northern Gateway was so highly debated.


Make no mistake. Enviromental groups from the states put a lot of funding into opposing ANY pipeline out of the oilsands. Now granted they are not fans of pipelines so it makes an easy target but the reason the effort is so intense is that they want to STOP the oilsands. The reason for this is that all the peak oil calculations didn't include all of this Alberta oil so it will result in much more oil being burned.

#21 Amish Rake Fighter

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:11 PM

Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is making the oil sands extraction process a whole lot cleaner now by beginning the refining under ground, they've been developing the technology for years.

#22 D-Money

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:31 PM

Some highlights from the Fraser Institute:

1999 - Pulblished Passive Smoke: The EPA's Betrayal of Science and Policy, which "highlighted the absence of any scientific evidence for linking cancer with second-hand smoke" (from Wikipedia). It backed it up with two conferences on the tobacco industry based on attaching Government regulation of tobacco.

2002 - A study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that the Institute's figures for "Tax Freedom Day" were largely skewed, and pushed the actual average date nearly two months later in the year.

2007 - In this one year alone, the Institute received $120,000 in funding from Exxon Mobil.

2009 - While Obama was pushing a National health coverage in the States, a report was out that showed solid evidence that U.S. bankruptcies are higher than Canadians, largely due to medical expenses. In an attempt to discredit it, the Fraser Institute released a ministudy claiming that non-business bankruptcies were the same in both countries. However, U.S. bankruptcy rates have been higher for the last decade, with the exception of only the years 2006 and 2007 (largely due to new U.S. laws that made declaring bankruptcy more difficult and requiring more time). So those two years of statistical anomoly were the only ones used in their calculations.
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#23 taxi

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 02:56 PM

Some highlights from the Fraser Institute:

1999 - Pulblished Passive Smoke: The EPA's Betrayal of Science and Policy, which "highlighted the absence of any scientific evidence for linking cancer with second-hand smoke" (from Wikipedia). It backed it up with two conferences on the tobacco industry based on attaching Government regulation of tobacco.

2002 - A study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that the Institute's figures for "Tax Freedom Day" were largely skewed, and pushed the actual average date nearly two months later in the year.

2007 - In this one year alone, the Institute received $120,000 in funding from Exxon Mobil.

2009 - While Obama was pushing a National health coverage in the States, a report was out that showed solid evidence that U.S. bankruptcies are higher than Canadians, largely due to medical expenses. In an attempt to discredit it, the Fraser Institute released a ministudy claiming that non-business bankruptcies were the same in both countries. However, U.S. bankruptcy rates have been higher for the last decade, with the exception of only the years 2006 and 2007 (largely due to new U.S. laws that made declaring bankruptcy more difficult and requiring more time). So those two years of statistical anomoly were the only ones used in their calculations.


Not going to comment on this particular study. It's obvious the tar sands are not environmentally friendly in any way.

However, the Fraser Institute is highly regarded. They push a "libertarian" agenda. They're against regulations on tabacco, but also against regulation on Marijuana.

Also from wikipedia:

In 2011, the Fraser Institute was ranked No. 1 among 97 think-tanks in Canada, for the fourth year in a row, in the University of Pennsylvania's Global Go-To Think-Tank Index,[4] a global survey of more than 1,500 scholars, policy makers, and journalists. The report also named the Fraser Institute as the only Canadian organization in the Top 30 leading think-tanks in the world in 2011, out of a global group of 6,545 think-tanks.



#24 D-Money

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:09 PM

Not going to comment on this particular study.  It's obvious the tar sands are not environmentally friendly in any way.

However, the Fraser Institute is highly regarded.  They push a "libertarian" agenda.  They're against regulations on tabacco, but also against regulation on Marijuana.

Also from wikipedia:


The Fraser Institute is all about money. They're against public health care in the states, because the big HMO's and drug companies will lose money. They're against regulation on tobacco because the tobacco companies lose money from it. It's pretty obvious why they would be touting the supposed environmental "benefits" of oil production - as ludicrous as that sounds to anyone with half a brain. They don't give two s**ts about you or your child or the public or the environment - it's just the money.

And again, they're against regulation on marijuana because they realize how much money they can make on it. (Having a buch of stoners who don't bother to read blindly supporting them for this one policy is just an added bonus.)

Edited by D-Money, 17 May 2012 - 03:13 PM.

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#25 taxi

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:05 PM

The Fraser Institute is all about money. They're against public health care in the states, because the big HMO's and drug companies will lose money. They're against regulation on tobacco because the tobacco companies lose money from it. It's pretty obvious why they would be touting the supposed environmental "benefits" of oil production - as ludicrous as that sounds to anyone with half a brain. They don't give two s**ts about you or your child or the public or the environment - it's just the money.

And again, they're against regulation on marijuana because they realize how much money they can make on it. (Having a buch of stoners who don't bother to read blindly supporting them for this one policy is just an added bonus.)


Umm...No. They're actually against those things, because they are libertarians.


You might not agree with the political philosphy, but they are against any kind of government regulation. So they are against tobacco regulation, health care, etc.. not because of the money, but they believe the govenrment should be as small as possible and people should be responsible for their own actions.

And exactly how do they personally stand to make money from legalizing marijuana?

#26 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:19 PM

Not going to comment on this particular study. It's obvious the tar sands are not environmentally friendly in any way.

However, the Fraser Institute is highly regarded. They push a "libertarian" agenda. They're against regulations on tabacco, but also against regulation on Marijuana.

Also from wikipedia:

I certainly don't mind Libertarianism, but regardless of their political stances and how often they agree with mine, I don't like propaganda. It's clear their publishing isn't helping anyone lead to a better understanding of the issues quoted by D-Money, it's fixing information to fit a pre-conceived ideology and that is counter-productive to the goal of studying, not to mention a sham.

Edited by zaibatsu, 17 May 2012 - 08:20 PM.


#27 ronthecivil

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:38 PM

The Fraser Institute is all about money. They're against public health care in the states, because the big HMO's and drug companies will lose money. They're against regulation on tobacco because the tobacco companies lose money from it. It's pretty obvious why they would be touting the supposed environmental "benefits" of oil production - as ludicrous as that sounds to anyone with half a brain. They don't give two s**ts about you or your child or the public or the environment - it's just the money.

And again, they're against regulation on marijuana because they realize how much money they can make on it. (Having a buch of stoners who don't bother to read blindly supporting them for this one policy is just an added bonus.)


As the icelanders followed by the greeks soon to be followed by Spain and the rest of Europe not to mention the US and before anyone here will realise before it smacks them in the face when it comes down to it EVERYTHING IS ABOUT THE MONEY and while you can be aware of social impact ignoring that basic premise has greater consequences than people actually realise.

Once the economy goes to crap people aren't going to care if things are unjust or polluting because they will be to worried about eating and keeping shelter!

#28 ronthecivil

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:43 PM

Some highlights from the Fraser Institute:

1999 - Pulblished Passive Smoke: The EPA's Betrayal of Science and Policy, which "highlighted the absence of any scientific evidence for linking cancer with second-hand smoke" (from Wikipedia). It backed it up with two conferences on the tobacco industry based on attaching Government regulation of tobacco.

2002 - A study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that the Institute's figures for "Tax Freedom Day" were largely skewed, and pushed the actual average date nearly two months later in the year.

2007 - In this one year alone, the Institute received $120,000 in funding from Exxon Mobil.

2009 - While Obama was pushing a National health coverage in the States, a report was out that showed solid evidence that U.S. bankruptcies are higher than Canadians, largely due to medical expenses. In an attempt to discredit it, the Fraser Institute released a ministudy claiming that non-business bankruptcies were the same in both countries. However, U.S. bankruptcy rates have been higher for the last decade, with the exception of only the years 2006 and 2007 (largely due to new U.S. laws that made declaring bankruptcy more difficult and requiring more time). So those two years of statistical anomoly were the only ones used in their calculations.


Speaking of organisations that cherry pick their own data.....

Oh, btw, how much you want to bet that by 2014 Canadian bankruptcies per capita will be higher than in the US? It's interesting that either side would blame the bankruptcies on healthcare when at that moment the US economy and housing market was in the midst of a massive correction!

#29 Bob.Loblaw

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:00 AM

I'll wait till you post your scathing critique of the eco-terrorist group known as Greenpeace before passing judgement on the above quote.


Last time I checked, Greenpeace is not affiliated with the Fraser Institute in any way, and I don't see why you should wait on the other guy. Just because Greenpeace is an eco-terrorist group doesn't make the Fraser Institute any better or worse.

Also, I don't remember the last time I saw someone start a topic with a Greenpeace article is his/her arguing point. Both them and the Fraser Institute are really only good for getting some general ideas. You'll notice an absence of any hard, unbiased facts. In other words, both are crap organizations that I avoid.
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Hockey_Crazy is a god. But I still got dibs on Yuna.

#30 canuckster19

canuckster19

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:10 AM

yup, it's not only a "green" source of energy, but purple, red, yellow, orange and blue as well.


I bet that source is magically delicious too.
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Trekkie Monster says: GO CANUCKS GO!

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