Why carbon capture is an illusion

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.


Awash in cash, Canadian oil patch braces for changes

CALGARY, EDMONTON — As Alberta’s oil sands reach a global scale, they are facing ever tougher environmental scrutiny and now, a new volley of federal legislation. Ottawa yesterday afternoon unveiled draft rules that would require projects starting operations in 2012 and beyond to reduce greenhouse gases, largely through carbon capture technology.

For oil producers, the bottom-line impact of the still sketchy draft legislation is difficult to assess.

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TransCanada pipeline clears key hurdle

TransCanada Corp. has secured a major boost to its plans for the long-awaited $5.2-billion Keystone oil pipeline, securing a U.S. presidential permit that allows the construction of the gargantuan infrastructure project.While TransCanada must still secure some approvals from U.S. states, getting the presidential permit was considered to be the largest regulatory hurdle to getting Keystone approved. The company expects the pipeline, which will be the most expensive yet built by TransCanada, to open up a vast, untapped market in the southern U.S. for Canadian producers, creating new buyers and improving price stability for crude from Alberta’s oil sands.

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