Monday, January 17, 2011

Pen Meets Paper Jan.17'11

Opinion by Helge Nome
The latest issue to hit the airwaves here in Alberta is carbon capture and storage, or CCS for short. The idea is to pump carbon dioxide generated by large oil and gas extraction projects into the ground instead of releasing it into the atmosphere where it is believed to be a cause of global warming. The first question that comes to mind here is: Where is the global warming? We in the northern hemisphere have been shivering since the beginning of winter. That aside, do we know whether the carbon dioxide being pumped into the ground is going to stay there, under very high pressure? Early indications are that the stuff wants to come back out again, based on a report from a Saskatchewan farm where something is bubbling out of the ground near a carbon storage project. It is generally agreed that we are dealing with a totally unproven technology here and the Alberta Government, on behalf of taxpayers, has generously committed $2 billion to develop the technology and reportedly has also underwritten future costs of potential negative consequences of same. So, the bottom lines of oil and gas company balance sheets are not negatively impacted. How very convenient; and blatant.
And to top it all, CCS is likely nothing more than a political stunt to appease rhetoric about greenhouse gases. It will cost taxpayers a lot of money just like the proposed carbon credit trading schemes. Here, emitters of carbon dioxide are supposed to buy carbon credits from those that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A whole market system is to be set up to facilitate such trading. This would be very profitable for one group of people: The traders. The pattern here is: Create a bogey man (global warming), then create a method of rescue from this hypothetical calamity (carbon storage and trading in credits), and voila! You have a fail safe money making scheme. Or: “Make ‘em scared and make ‘em pay” Isn’t that what Chicago mobsters used to do?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some quality points there. I am kind of new to online , so I printed this off to put in my file, any better way to go about keeping track of it then printing?