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Up to $3 billion per year needed for carbon capture

The Toronto Star reports that, “Oilsands production is expected to almost triple to about three million barrels per day by 2015…”

A report by the Alberta Carbon Capture and Storage Development Council concludes, “Oilsands (greenhouse gas) emissions would more than double by 2015 without carbon capture and storage implementation.”

The Alberta CCS Development Council report says the federal and Alberta governments may have to invest $1 billion to $3 billion per year after 2015 to turn capturing carbon into a viable commercial technology and that energy prices will rise as consumers shoulder “a large share of the burden” of this cost.

The article also notes, “It could also take up to 20 years to produce such projects on a commercial scale.”

“Last month, the Alberta government announced that seven companies would share $2 billion to fund three carbon capture and storage projects, to be built by 2015,” but this is well below the annual funding called for in the report.

Council of Canadians energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue has stated that, “Both the federal and Albertan governments have touted carbon capture and storage as a means to green the tar sands and justify ongoing expansion. There is no silver bullet ‘tech.’ solution to the tar sands. CCS is expensive requiring massive subsidies and the proposed regulatory timeline for implementation is long. There is even evidence that CCS will have limited capacity to reduce emissions in the tar sands. An Alberta-Canada EcoEnergy Task Force released a report in January 2008 that says only a small percentage of CO2 emitted from the tar sands is currently amenable to the technology because of the size and concentrations of emissions streams.”

She has also stated, “Instead of looking backwards, we must move forward and embrace the opportunities to create a sustainable energy strategy accountable to the public interest that meets energy security needs, minimizes impacts to the environment and transitions to greater conservation, improved energy efficiency and renewable energy development.”

The full article is at http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/672157.

More from the Council of Canadians on the tar sands at http://canadians.org/energy/issues/tarsands/index.html.

For a campaign blog on the impact of the tar sands on water, go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=104.