STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Carbon-Capture plan full of hot air

Posted by mhudema on July 10, 2008

July 10, 2008

Carbon-capture plan full of hot air, say critics

By JEREMY LOOME, EDMONTON SUN

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It’s a $2-billion blunder that could prove even more costly to Alberta’s environment, say critics.

They’ve lambasted the Alberta government for committing half of a $4 billion green fund to carbon capture and storage (CCS) – the process of storing carbon gases underground – as an unproven science that ultimately may not even be able to hide the province’s carbon emissions problem, let alone solve it.

Even if carbon capture eventually works, the province’s plan to implement it will put Alberta half a century behind global standards, said Greenpeace’s Mike Hudema, who called CCS a “high-cost, unproven technology with long lead times.”

“Sequestration programs will prevent investment in more cost-effective green energy solutions to global warming and ensure that emissions will continue skyrocketing for the foreseeable future,” said Hudema.

He said Alberta accounts for 31% of national greenhouse-gas production, and won’t reach acceptable levels until sometime after 2050, by which time the environmental toll could be significant.

“Burying carbon underground and hoping it stays there for hundreds of years is not the solution to the climate crisis,” he said. “It is time that this government quits trying to distract the public and starts taking meaningful action to address human-induced global climate change.”

But Premier Ed Stelmach stressed in announcing the plan that there are multiple considerations. CCS and transit improvements are ways that “will help Alberta take meaningful action on climate change, without endangering jobs, the economy, our ability to support public services.

“It’s a significant commitment to one of few technologies that have been identified as being able to make a substantial reduction in global greenhouse-gas emissions.”

Hudema said the government’s plan also doesn’t address environmental degradation from the oilsands, and its record of allowing greenhouse gases “to increase by 37.4% between 1990 and 2005” suggests it doesn’t take the issue seriously.

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