Saskatchewan’s economy is second only to Alberta’s in oil and gas export. The fossil fuels mostly go south to the US, which, along with China, is the biggest energy glutton on the planet.
You are here
Governments that believe the industrial economy depends on the continuing use of fossil fuels want to maintain business-as-usual. Consequently the federal and provincial governments subsidize technology that pumps C02 into oil fields to enhance private oil recovery, and then justify this because it involves some carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS is naively treated as a tech-fix for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs). But CCS comes from the same paradigm that got us into the climate crisis, and, anyway, it's more cost-effective and creates more local employment to go directly to renewables.
Saskatchewan is a pioneer in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the Sask Party government thinks this is a win-win-win: good for the economy, for the oil industry and for reducing carbon emissions. How can anything be so good? There is an international CCS consortium in Iceland and the world’s largest user of coal, China, has several test projects. With 50% of its electricity coming from coal plants, the U.S. has a few projects, notably the country’s first commercial one at the large, 1,300-MW Mountaineer coal plant at New Haven. Carbon-laden coal plants are on the short list of things that need replacing to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). But Is CCS a good bet to do this?