Ottawa – In response to a new report released today that showed that the world’s largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, located in Saskatchewan, is leaking carbon and causing environmental harm, Environmental Defence called on the federal government to halt taxpayer subsidies for carbon capture and storage and to instead reduce pollution at its source.
“We’ve heard a lot of talk recently from the new Environment Minister and Prime Minister Harper calling the tar sands ethical oil,” said Gillian McEachern of Environmental Defence. “But how ethical is it to throw billions of taxpayer dollars at something that is causing explosions and dead animals in the one place it is being tested, and that won’t fix the pollution problem even if it was working?”
Carbon capture and storage has been hailed as a silver bullet by industry and government, who have put much effort into convincing Canadians and the world that there’s a solution to the global warming impacts of tar sands development. The federal government has already put $2 billion of public money into it.
Today’s report, released by a Saskatchewan farm couple whose land lies above the world’s first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage project, linked high carbon concentrations in the soil to leakage from the project.
This follows a recent report, Duty Calls: Federal responsibility in Canada’s oil sands, released by Environmental Defence and allies, that demonstrates that carbon capture and storage, even if it works, will not solve the tar sands pollution problem. Even if the most optimistic industry estimates for CCS are achieved, the industry will still blow its share of the federal government’s current carbon budget by 3.5 times in 2020 and nearly 40 times in 2050.
 
“In light of the concerns raised today, we’re calling on the federal government to immediately stop subsidizing carbon capture and storage and investigate what is happening in Saskatchewan,” said McEachern. “It’s time to stop throwing our money at an unproven fix, pass strong regulations to reduce global warming pollution at its source, and to invest instead in clean energy.”

About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca):  Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization.  We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Gillian McEachern, (613) 292-4416 (cell)
Stephanie Kohls, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)