STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Posts Tagged ‘carbon capture’

CCS: no solution when you pump out more carbon

Posted by mhudema on July 11, 2008

A new home for C02 beneath your feet

CO2 skywriting

A Canadian company plans to build a pipeline underground that can pump millions of tons of C02 a year, which would capture and store the carbon dioxide emissions. Sam Eaton reports why it may or may not work.

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$2 Billion to help Political Climate

Posted by mhudema on July 11, 2008

Will cash improve political climate?
The Edmonton Journal

As the old hockey adage goes, the best defence is a good offence — which goes a long way to explain the $2-billion cash outlay by the Alberta government this week to reduce greenhouse gases.

Premier Ed Stelmach says he wants to kickstart construction of a carbon-capture-and-storage network to bury carbon dioxide produced in oilsands production and in coal-fired electricity generation.

It’s a welcome move for several reasons.

Until this week, the province’s strategy to fight the growing chorus of environmental critics — especially those south of the border — consisted mainly of a $25-million public relations campaign to re-brand the oilsands as clean energy.

That was clearly an inadequate response, even for a government that has been dismissive of perceived negative environmental impacts.

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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



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.

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$2 Billion Dollar Greenwash

Posted by mhudema on July 10, 2008

The cost of green
Calgary Herald
Published: Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sometimes, one just does what one must. Such is the case with the provincial plan to put $2 billion of an expected surplus wholly attributable to resource royalties into pumping the energy industry’s carbon dioxide exhaust back into the ground.

Recognize it for what it is, a $2-billion public relations campaign to arm provincial cabinet ministers against critics of Alberta’s supposedly dirty oil. “No, we’re not pumping CO2 into the air: In Alberta, we bury it. Next question?”

It has to be viewed that way, because otherwise it’s a lot of money for not much.

Environment Canada’s National Inventory Report on Canadian greenhouse gas sources gives the perspective.

Nationally, Canada produced 721 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2006. Alberta was responsible for 234 million tonnes.

When fully implemented in 2015, the government’s $2-billion plan will capture and sequester five million tonnes of it annually.

That’s two per cent. Or it’s about 3.4 per cent of the 146 million tonnes of CO2 produced by the province’s electrical generators and its energy industry — perhaps the more reasonable comparison, as vehicle and residential emissions are scarcely amenable to capture.
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Stelmach Meets to Discuss Dirty Oil

Posted by mhudema on July 8, 2008

Alberta premier meets with U.S. ambassador to discuss ‘dirty’ oil

CALGARY — Premier Ed Stelmach admits Alberta doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room to satisfy environmentalists and American politicians who don’t want “dirty” oil from the oilsands.

The U.S. government is drafting a law that could limit American agencies from using oilsands fuel because of the large volume of emissions created when it’s produced.

Stelmach met with U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins in Calgary on Monday.

After the meeting, Stelmach said he will work with Wilkins to bring more political leaders from the United States to Alberta to get a first-hand look at what the province is doing to reduce greenhouse gases.

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Canadian Youth say Dion Carbon Tax a good first step but….

Posted by mhudema on July 7, 2008

July 7, 2008

Green bonanza!

Grit leader predicts his carbon plan will mean ‘megatonnes of money’ for Alberta


Federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion brandishes a copy of his Green Shift carbon emissions reduction plan while addressing the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition conference at the University of Alberta yesterday. Dion fielded questions about global climate change from youth across the country. (JAMES MacLENNAN/Special to Sun Media)

A Liberal plan to tax greenhouse-gas emissions will mean “megatonnes of money” instead of economic disaster for Alberta, Stephane Dion vowed yesterday.

The so-called Green Shift tax proposal, which would slap a $40-per-tonne levy on carbon emissions, “will be good for a province like Alberta as it will be for the whole of Canada,” Dion, the leader of the federal Liberals, promised a crowd of dele-gates at the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition conference in Edmonton.

“Imagine Fort McMurray to be sustainable,” he told the audience. “We’ll have the know-how that we’ll be able to export around the world and we’ll make megatonnes of money with it.”

Dion, who has been touring the province in a bid to sell the carbon tax, said the advantage to Alberta will come from economic diversification fostered by the levy.

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Stelmach goes to bat for dirty oil

Posted by mhudema on June 26, 2008

Thu, June 26, 2008
Stelmach will go to bat for our oil in U.S.

It’s in the middle of the mountains and two national parks, which suggests Jackson, Wyo., is a great place to talk environment.

It’s also a potential spot for Premier Ed Stelmach to pick up some allies, starting Sunday, as he meets with 15 Western U.S. governors during their annual get-together.

He’ll need them as his PR campaign continues against U.S. environmental opposition to the province’s so-called “dirty” oilsands.

While the trip has been scheduled for months, it also comes just days after a spokesman for Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama suggested future U.S. use of oil from Alberta’s oilsands is an “open question.”

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More from the Denial Machine

Posted by mhudema on June 25, 2008


“Unfair” environmental criticism that is mounting in the U.S. against the oilsands could cause an uncertain economic future for Alberta, Finance Minister Iris Evans said yesterday.

Evans said she won’t predict the double-digit multibillion-dollar surplus many expect here next year due to high oil prices, noting the province is waging political war against anti-dirty oil legislation in the U.S. that could impact its ability to develop an oilsands-based economy.


And she said she’s hoping for help from states that also benefit from upgrading bitumen, the oilsand/tar mix that is refined into synthetic crude.

“It offends me deeply to hear people say ‘dirty oil,’ ” she said. “When they go to the gas tank and fill up with the oil, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a drop of oil out of our oilsands and any other oil they’ll purchase anywhere else. So that’s highly offensive.”
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Why Carbon Capture is an Illusion

Posted by mhudema on March 25, 2008

Special to Globe and Mail Update

On March 10, Environment Minister John Baird released detailed regulations to address global warming. These so-called tough measures lean heavily on new technology that captures and stores greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Baird says catching carbon emitted from coal-fired power plants and tar-sands projects, then burying it deep underground, is a large part of Canada meeting its greenhouse gas emissions targets for 2020 and 2050.

This is unlikely. Even if we set aside the fact that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has set new, weaker goals so that Canada is no longer holds up its share of the Kyoto agreement, the sorry truth is that carbon capture and storage is a kind of fool’s gold — all glitter and promise, but of no real worth. It won’t enable us to meet even these weaker commitments, and it will be an expensive, diversionary tactic while Canada climbs the carbon charts.

Simply put, taking the carbon dioxide out of emissions (from a power plant or installation), and finding a safe place to tuck it away permanently isn’t easy, isn’t cheap and isn’t going to happen in time to save the climate. There are problems with the technology that no one has been able to solve on an industrial scale. Enormous amounts of money will have to be spent just to try and make it work. It really does look like the proverbial bottomless pit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alberta Green Plan to Destroy the Planet

Posted by mhudema on January 25, 2008

Latest Headlines

EDMONTON _ Premier Ed Stelmach rolled out a modest strategy to curb greenhouse gas emissions Thursday, saying Alberta‘s energy-fuelled economy would be devastated if the province moved too quickly.

The plan would make “real reductions‘‘ in carbon dioxide emissions of 14 per cent below 2005 levels by 2050 _ more than 40 years in the future. And there would be no net reduction in emissions for the next 12 years.

The targets fall well short of those laid out in the Kyoto accord and by the European Union, which has called for reductions of 60 to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Stelmach, whose government has incurred the wrath of environmentalists over its support of emissions-heavy oilsands development, called the Alberta targets “realistic goals for industry.‘‘

“It would be very difficult to bring about an immediate reduction without devastating the economy and the quality of life of Albertans,‘‘ said the premier, who is expected to call an election soon.

The plan focuses on capturing and storing the carbon dioxide that belches from oilsands plants, coal-fired generators and other industrial emitters. The gas would eventually enter a yet-to-be-built multibillion-dollar pipeline system and get pumped into the ground, where it would help squeeze more oil and natural gas from aging wells.

About a quarter of the proposed emissions cuts would come from unspecified consumer incentives to buy energy-efficient appliances, as well as a new emphasis on wind, thermal and geothermal power.

Greenhouse gas emissions rose by 37 per cent between 1990 and 2005, making Alberta the largest emitter in the country. Lindsay Telfer of the Sierra Club of Canada said the Alberta plan falls “terribly short of taking meaningful action.‘‘

But David Pryce, vice-president of western Canadian operations for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, appeared to welcome Thursday‘s announcement.

“Our take is it‘s important that they‘ve got the carbon capture and storage piece prominently profiled in this, because that‘s the big, main tool that we‘ve got to contribute to the solution,‘‘ Pryce said from Calgary.

“The targets are designed, I think, to be realistic and practical. They ramp up over time, and that‘s consistent to what we‘ve been saying _ we need time to develop and apply the technology.‘‘

Even so, Pryce predicted energy producers will face “significant challenges‘‘ trying to meet even the modest Alberta targets.

NDP Leader Brian Mason accused the premier of gambling public dollars on the unproven carbon capture technology.

“The Conservatives are backing the wrong horse,‘‘ said Mason. “Carbon capture technology is risky and likely to cost billions.‘‘

Pryce said the storage technology exists already, but work has to be done on the capture and transportation aspects.

Liberal environment critic David Swann called for emissions from the giant oilsands plants to be capped within five years, although he conceded that would some economic hardship.

Stelmach later pounced on the Liberal proposal, suggesting it would “tremendous economic devastation and massive job losses.‘‘

Consumers will eventually face a cost related to reducing emissions, but the premier was vague on how or when that might happen.

“I don‘t know what (the costs) are going to be. We know that we want to keep the cost down for consumers,‘‘ he told a news conference.

Alberta is already feeling pressure from other countries to reduce emissions or face trade barriers because of a global movement to find cleaner energy sources, Stelmach acknowledged.

Greenpeace activist Mike Hudema predicted the province will become the “pariah‘‘ of the international environmental community for taking such a modest approach to cutting emissions.

“The tarsands are the largest source of greenhouse gas growth in Canada,‘‘ said Hudema. “By 2020 they‘re set to emit over 141 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which is twice as much as all the cars and trucks in Canada.‘‘

Legislation will be used to d a framework for Alberta‘s new green strategy, but the finer details will be decided by cabinet, so they will not be open to debate in the legislature.

“The commitment to carbon capture will come once we get a full report in the fall,‘‘ said the premier. “Industry and also our people will be able to give us a better indications of what the costs are.‘‘

Initial cost estimates of creating a network of pipelines to move CO2 to southern oilfields for disposal were between $3 and $5 billion.

The government is being vague on who would pay those costs. But Thursday‘s announcement said up to $500 million will come from a federal eco-trust fund as well as millions of dollars in fines paid by Alberta firms that don‘t meet new emissions targets set last year.

Andrew Leach, who lectures on energy and the environment at the University of Alberta, said the plan lacks details on the impact on consumers.

“Nobody is going to be able to tell consumers whether this will increase gas prices, heating prices or electricity costs,‘‘ said Leach.

“But at the same time, if Albertans really want emissions reductions … I don‘t think this plan is going to deliver on that.‘‘

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