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Group Warns Of Surge In Polluting Tar Sands Gas

An environmental group forecasts a massive spike in the amount of tar sands fuel coming to Vermont gas pumps in coming years.

According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, gasoline derived from oil extracted from tar sands made up less than 1 percent of the fuel supply in 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states in 2012. By 2020, the report said, that will be up to 11.5 percent if states don’t increase regulation.

The problem with that, NRDC said, is that gasoline derived from tar sands oil “emits 17 percent more carbon pollution than conventional gasoline when measured on a life-cycle basis.”

The Vermont Natural Resources Council, in a press release about the study, warned that use of the gasoline could severely undermine the state’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution to 50 percent of 1990 levels by 2028.

The state fell short of one of the benchmarks of that goal in 2012, by which time the state was supposed to have achieved a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels. Instead, Vermont’s 2012 greenhouse gas emissions were almost equal to 1990 levels.