Wednesday, July 9, 2008

$4 billion for carbon capture

re the alternatives I suggested below ("...the burden is either all on Alberta suppliers ... OR the burden is all on the Alberta taxpayer, with said taxpayer footing the whole bill for an Alberta supplier subsidy"), you now know the answer: it's all on the taxpayer.

The fact that a CAPP representative has said, "I see our members showing an interest in this," doesn't challenge my contention that business is skeptical of carbon capture as an unsubsidized business plan: Epcor CEO Don Lowry maintains that implementing carbon capture would push "the current $1.6-billion price tag for the state-of-the-art Keephills Three to as high as $5 billion". A Transalta spokesman goes on to effectively admit that without "government", CCS projects are not "commercially viable". The energy industry, of course, has no complaints about a scheme with a potentially negative return on investment when they can always just walk away and leave taxpayers with the tab.

I can only agree with Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid: "This is a recipe for expensive disasters such as the infamous Gainers, NovAtel and MagCan scandals of the 1980s and 1990s."

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