Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Alberta's CO2 capture target falls after project scrapped - Edmonton - CBC News

Alberta's CO2 capture target falls after project scrapped - Edmonton - CBC News

The province's carbon capture target for the four projects was five million tonnes annually by 2016. Now the target is about 2.6 million tonnes through two remaining projects: the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line and Shell Quest.
Bob Savage, director of Alberta Environment's climate change secretariat, said the province’s new target is the equivalent of taking more than half a million cars off the road.
"Carbon capture and storage remains a key part of Alberta's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is a technology that has a lot of potential. The challenge is figuring out a way to do it in a cost-effective manner," said Savage.

Key part of Alberta's commitment

Matt Horne, a director with environmental group the Pembina Institute, said one reason carbon capture and storage projects aren't making sense financially is because Alberta does not have a tax on carbon emissions.
"There is very little incentive here in Alberta to reduce those emissions. If Alberta's policy becomes stronger, there is going to be a stronger incentive to reduce those emissions and invest in technologies like carbon capture and storage."
Climate change scientist Keith argues that the Alberta government doesn’t seem keen on spending serious money on cutting emissions.
“The government really seems to be kind of ignoring serious sustained action on cutting carbon emissions. And that’s clearly a political response to the fact that the political pressure isn’t as high as it was. But I think Alberta needs to take the long view,” he said.
“The government should be involved by putting a price on people using the atmosphere as a free waste dump and getting serious about cutting carbon emissions.”
Carbon capture technology is aimed at reducing carbon dioxide, a major contributor to greenhouse gases. The carbon is taken from an industrial source, such as a smokestack, liquefied and shipped by pipe to another location and stored deep underground in porous rock.
Proponents say it's the best way to feed the consumer appetite for fossil fuels while reducing the pollution.
Opponents say the technology is expensive and unproven, and it's not being done on a large scale anywhere in the world. They also voice health concerns, noting if the concentrated CO2 leaks, it could poison underground water sources or asphyxiate people if released to the surface.

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