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Save Our Shoals

Fact Sheet
During the 2013 legislative session, the Alabama Legislature approved a law that gave the Alabama State Oil and Gas Board regulatory authority over oil sands resources in Alabama On July 27, 2013 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) to pursue the exploration of oil sands in Alabama and Mississippi for oil sands resource development. Oil sands is the term used by the energy industry. Oil sands are also commonly referred to as tar sands.

What Are Tar Sands?

Tar sands exist in Alabama in the Hartselle Sandstone geological formation, in the area shown in pink on the map to the right. Tar sands are a combination of sand, clay, water and bitumen, a heavy oil. The bitumen must be extracted from the sandy soil and then upgraded to a refinery-ready crude oil. (MOU). Tar sands in Colbert, NW Lawrence and NE Franklin Counties are mainly located near the surface, within the aquifers that supply our water.

How Are Tar Sands Extracted & Processed?

Strip mining is the way tar sands are removed from the earth in areas like Colbert & Lawrence Counties, where the Hartselle Sandstone formation is at or near the surface.
It is impossible to remove tar sands from the earth without damaging the surface, the subsurface, and associated water systems. The mining process releases harmful elements and chemicals that are naturally trapped inside the geological formations. Once the sands are mined from the earth, they must be processed, first by separating the bitumen from the soil. Further processing is required to convert the bitumen to a heavy form of crude oil that is more toxic than regular crude oil. This crude must be shipped to refineries.
Prepared March 17, 2014 For Public Meeting at Hatton Elementary School
Tar Sands Outcropping near Shines Spring, Colbert County

Who Are We?

We are the people. We are concerned citizens from all walks of life who value our families, our health, our water, our air, our land, our communities. We are residents of the State of Alabama. We are taxpayers and voters. We are property-owners. We have built our lives in the Shoals. We are committed to the responsible use of our natural resources in ways that do not harm the human residents of our state. Our movement is open to all who share our commitment to the future of Alabama, particularly the beautiful northwest corner of our state. Find out more at
Were just getting the website set up and well be adding new information as quickly as we can.

Contact Your Officials

Government officials work for the people. Partial List of State Elected Officials
Rep. Marcel Black (3rd Dist, Colbert County) State House Phone: 334-242-7686 Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow (18th Dist., Colbert & Franklin) State House Phone: 334-242-7698 Rep. Ken Johnson (7th Dist., Lawrence & Winston) State House Phone: 334-242-7754 Email: Rep. Greg Wren (75th District, Montomery, Elmore) State House Phone: 334-242-7764 Chair of Joint Energy Committee State Sen. Tammy Irons (1st Dist., Colbert & Lauderdale) State House Phone: 334-242-7888 Email: State Sen. Roger Bedford (6th Dist., Colbert, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, Winston) State House Phone: 334-242-7862 State Sen. Paul Bussman (4th Dist., Cullman, Lawrence, Winston Counties) State House Phone: 334-242-7855 Email: If you arent sure about your district, you can visit this website and enter your zip code to find out:

We Are Social Stop Alabama Tar Sands Mining @SaveOurShoals @SaveOurShoals @SaveOurShoals Channel Name: Save Our Shoals

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