Action in Spanish Refinery against tarsands and Repsol

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More than a hundred activists have emptied a lorry full of dirt at the entrance of Cartagena’s refinery. They were carrying banners against Repsol, the non conventional oil industry and global warming. The activists aimed at Repsol’s interest in refining tar sands petroleum, a very intense greenhouse emission hazardous product, that can be massively imported to the EU after the signature of the trade deals with the US (TTIP) and Canada (CETA). According to a recent report prepared by Friends of the Earth and Transport and Environment, Cartagena’s refinery, property of Repsol, in one of the best placed in Europe to refine this type of oil. The soil dumped by the environmentalist group, on the contrary, can fertilise the soil for growing food. The action took place during Ecologistas en Acción’s 17th annual confederate assembly in Murcia, that concurred with the climate COP in Paris.

According to the report, just 18 of the 95 European refineries have a high risk of refining tar sands petroleum. In Spain, the best placed refineries are in Muskiz, in the Basque Country and Cartagena, in Murcia, both property of Repsol. In fact, the first and third European shipments of tar sands, arrived at these 2 refineries.

Repsol has invested for years to make its refineries capable of refining heavy oils, such as the tar sands petroleum. And now the company intends to obtain large profits from unconventional oil, whose consumption is expected to increase due to the conventional oil depletion. Repsol has lobbied hard, during the CETA and TTIP negotiations, to avoid any kind of restriction to these kind of fuels in the EU.

But these heavy fuels also have a bigger environmental impact than conventional oils. Tar sands emissions of greenhouse gases are 23% higher, a very significant fact taking into account that, in order to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change, non less than 80% of the acknowledged fossil fuel reserves in the world should be left unexploited.

In was Ecologistas en Acción decision to end their 17th annual meeting with this protest action at the refinery’s entrance. The activists dressed in white coveralls, reminded that humanity’s future can only be sustainable and fair if fossil fuel consumption is abandoned and substituted with renewable sources of energy. In order to do so, they intend to confront oil corporation interests.

This action had the support of Friend of the Earth.

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