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WIN! Prentice concedes CCS “no silver bullet” for the tar sands

Council of Canadians energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue wrote in an op-ed published in the Georgia Straight on February 10 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.”

It was also a key message in our statements at the time of President Barack Obama’s visit to Canada on February 19. Andrea stated then, “There is no silver bullet ‘tech.’ solution to the tar sands. 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.”

It was also a message repeated in our media releases and in fact sheets that were distributed across the country by chapter activists on our February 4 energy day of action.

Congratulations to Andrea, Council activists and allies alike in this win. The environment minister still has a long way to go on this issue, but an important argument has been won.

Today’s Globe and Mail report is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/carbon-capture-no-silver-bullet/article1170007/.