When it comes to climate change, here’s what we know:
Science tells us that emissions must go down — urgently. Steadily, we have to chart a path to net-zero emissions, meaning we put fewer polluting emissions in the air than we take out. And realistically, this can only happen if we use every tool at our disposal.
Later this month, our government will release a detailed plan for how Canada will cut emissions on the road to net-zero by 2050. This plan will be ambitious — after a devastating year of forest fires, flooding, deadly heat waves and more, Canadians are calling for nothing less. But it will also be achievable. And alongside a whole range of measures to cut emissions, that’s where innovative technologies like carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) come into play.
What is CCUS? Basically, it’s the deployment of technologies that capture carbon dioxide from heavy industries — think cement, steel, fertilizer, oil and gas — and then either permanently store it deep underground by inserting it into rock formations or completely repurpose it to make new products like soap or cement.
Since too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air is what drives climate change, taking it out of the air is an intuitive solution. And as Canadian industry shows, it works.
Take for example the cement plant CO2MENT in Richmond, B.C., that uses a CCUS “capture unit” to pipe the airborne pollution through a rotating set of filters that screen out the carbon particles from the air and reuse them for CO2-cured concrete, thus storing it permanently.
According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net‐Zero Emissions by 2050 scenario, the scale-up of CCUS needs to be rapid and immense — with 1.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide per year captured globally by 2030, rising to 7.6 gigatonnes per year in 2050. This is approximately 15 per cent of total greenhouse gas reductions and 190 times what is captured today. Moreover, the IEA finds that without CCUS, the cost of reaching global 2050 net-zero goals will increase by approximately US$15 trillion.
What people are reading
With our abundance of natural resources and skilled labour, Canada is well-positioned to lead global growth in CCUS. And since Canada is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, it’s in our national interest to do so. As we continue to use fossil fuels in our cars and in our homes over the short- to medium-term, CCUS needs to be a key part of the transition to a net-zero economy.
Canada is already among the global leaders in this startup industry. We now host five of the world’s 21 CCUS facilities. One out of every six tonnes of CO2 that have been captured globally with CCUS is Canadian. We’re fourth in the number of CCUS patents granted, behind the U.S., China and the European Union. This technology is still in its early stages, but is already employing thousands of Canadians. It has the potential to make a big dent in cutting pollution, while creating sustainable jobs and economic growth across the country.
As a government, we want to make sure we support this innovation. That’s why we’re proposing a tax credit to help drive the growth of Canadian CCUS technologies in industries like concrete, steel, plastics, fuels and hydrogen. The oil and gas industry, which contributes 26 per cent of Canada’s overall emissions but also employs over 70,000 people directly, shouldn’t — and won’t — be excluded. That said, the tax credit cannot be used for CCUS activities designed to extract more petroleum.
The tax credit is an important part of our plan to mobilize substantial private capital towards clean technologies. To those who view CCUS as being too expensive, the tax credit will accelerate the private investment, driving down costs and encouraging widespread market adoption.
When it comes to climate change, there’s no magic bullet. So let’s use every tool in the toolbox. We have the ambition, the know-how, and the plan to build a bright, healthy future for everyone.
So let’s keep at it.
Net-zero by 2050 is a recipe
Net-zero by 2050 is a recipe for disaster. Carbon negative by 2030 might stop the anthropocene extinctions if we are very lucky. This CCUC plan still puts business profits first, and does nothing about the excess already emitted. We can use windmills to make synthetic gasoline from just air for about $1.50 per Litre already, and could tweak that process to securely store a percentage of the carbon, making every car a net carbon negative device without having to replace it and the whole infrastructure with electrics.
I have no objection to
I have no objection to industry using CCS/CCUS but the taxpayer should not subsidize it if it is only used to store CO2 produced by oxidation (i.e. burning) of fossil fuels to produce heat (e.g. for use in boilers, power plants, etc.), particularly heat for electricity production. The cost to store CO2 from fossil fuel combustion should be reflected in the cost charged to the users of fossil fuel energy in order to improve the cost competitiveness of other energy sources, such as renewables and nuclear. Fossil fuels have been the dominant source of energy for at least the past century because users have not been forced to pay their full cost, which should now include the cost to capture the CO2 produced by burning them. Full costing of fossil fuel energy is long overdue.
Since there are often fewer options for storing CO2 produced in industrial chemical reactions other than combustion (e.g. for cement (clinker) production and the Bessemer process in steel production), some degree of taxpayer subsidization of CCS/CCUS would probably be acceptable in such cases.
What we have to realize is
What we have to realize is the importance the two ministers place on the "polluter gets paid" principle.
In Ontario, cement kilns have
In Ontario, cement kilns have essentially given up trying to control their CO2 emissions. Instead they have convinced the government (well, with the PCs, they didn't have to work too hard) to use so-called alternative fuels, industrial waste like tires, wood, and municipal garbage.
St.Marys Cement had a pilot project to use CO2 to feed algae that could be processed into biofuels but that seems to have disappeared.
Simply put, unless pressured, industry will avoid significant action on decarbonizing since they respond to shareholders.
Just another dangerous fossil
Just another dangerous fossil fuel subsidy. Not surprising from Wilkinson, but disappointing from Guilbeault. We could take carbon removal seriously if the fossil fuel phase out was aggressive, but while we're still building pipelines it's worse than a joke. It's a very strange fit for the National Observer to provide this platform and legitimacy. Give us Saxifrage or another of your best to debunk this (again).
"Are Canada’s carbon capture
"Are Canada’s carbon capture plans a ‘pipe dream’?' (National Observer, 20-Jan-22)
"Leading climate scientists and academics are calling on the federal government to abandon a proposed tax credit that gives big polluters a break for investing in carbon capture technology.
"The experts say the planned carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) tax credit will lock in fossil fuel use and risk ruining Canada’s chances of meeting emission reduction goals.
"In a letter signed by more than 400 experts and sent to the federal government’s finance, natural resources and environment departments, the group warned a tax credit that incentivizes carbon capture technologies amounts to a major new fossil fuel subsidy — something the federal government has repeatedly promised to phase out."
Letter from Academics
"Effective solutions to achieve deep emission reductions in the next decade along a pathway to zero emissions are already at hand, including renewable energy, electrification and energy efficiency. Funding CCUS diverts resources from these proven, more cost effective solutions that are available on the timeframes required to mitigate climate change.
"Despite decades of research, CCUS is neither economically sound nor proven at scale, with a terrible track record and limited potential to deliver significant, cost-effective emissions reductions.
"…Moreover, CCUS remains prohibitively expensive, while the costs of renewables have plummeted to the point that they are cheaper than fossil fuels. So unsurprisingly, over 80% of CCUS projects in the United States have failed.
"… Put simply, rather than replacing fossil fuels, carbon capture prolongs our dependence on them at a time when preventing catastrophic climate change requires winding down fossil fuel use. Relying on CCUS preserves status quo fossil fuel development, which must be curtailed to meet global climate commitments. Introducing a tax credit for CCUS for the energy sector will lock-in continued dependence on Canada's largest and most rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.
"… The biggest beneficiaries of the American tax credit are oil companies. Analysis done on the 45Q tax credit found it could result in at least an additional 400,000 barrels per day of CO2-enhanced oil production in the United States by 2035.
"… Deploying CCUS at any climate-relevant scale, carried out within the short timeframe we have to avert climate catastrophe without posing substantial risks to communities on the frontlines of the buildout, is a pipe dream."
It doesn't appear oil and gas
It doesn't appear oil and gas pay much in taxes as it is. This is from a recent report from the PBO
The second table contains the total federal tax paid by enterprises engaging in oil and gas extraction as well as support activities. These data correspond with industry NAICS codes 211 and parts of 213.
Federal tax paid by enterprises engaging in oil and gas extraction and support activities
Total federal tax in Millions of dollars
I can't see giving a tax
I can't see giving a tax credit for CCUS unless the full cycle, including input energy required to run the process, and the uses to which the carbon is put, produces a net carbon negative full cycle. If the technology can't meet this requirement, then it should stay in the lab until it does. Recently a large body of scientists signed a public petition suggesting in the strongest terms that Carbon Capture in its present form and in its present uses not be granted a tax credit. They were not against CC in particular, and were clear on the negative aspects of its current use and level of development that were objectionable, setting out a number of guidelines under which it could be considered actually a carbon negative technology as promised. These two public servants above have not specifically indicated whether what they are proposing actually meets those requirements or not. Given the highly public nature of that petition and the public stir it created, the fact that these two haven't address this petition specifically with respect to their Carbon Capture initiative, suggests that it does not meet the net negative carbon requirements of the petition. It would be a typically arrogant Liberal approach to simply ignore the petition. As such, I'd be suspicious of any government servants bearing tax credits. Without real carbon negative results, this is just another government giveaway.
This is also a government that has not agreed in law to stop all further new Canadian fossil fuel developments, and is currently fudging on the Bay du Norde project approval. There is no value in flooding the world with new sources of fossil fuels while subsidizing costly capture technology to pull it back out of the air again. Nor does it make sense to subsidize pipelines to enable further development of the tar-sands while subsidizing costly capture technology to pull it out again. This government has to first get its priorities sorted and stop trying to move in opposing directions at once. That we definitely can't afford.
"I can't see giving a tax
"I can't see giving a tax credit for CCUS unless the full cycle, including input energy required to run the process, and the uses to which the carbon is put, produces a net carbon negative full cycle."
Perhaps the two gentlement in the photo haven't yet seen the letter. Perhaps we should all send them (and our MPs) a copy. Just in case.
CCS will be essential ONLY in
CCS will be essential ONLY in sectors difficult to decarbonize. Processes like steel and cement. Not for the fossil fuel industry, where energy alternatives are readily available. Used to extend fossil fuels' shelf life, more emissions will result, not less.
CCS calls for billions of dollars in subsidies. Why invest scarce public resources in CCS, when there are far more cost-effective climate solutions available? Cheaper ways to cut more emissions. Huge opportunity costs. Invest the same scarce resources in public transit, energy efficiency and conservation, building retrofits, smart urban design, and renewables — and we can cut far more emissions.
CCS captures a tiny fraction of emissions at high cost — only from large emitters. Viable, if at all, only for large CO2 streams. Not economic where sources are many, small, and diffuse. E.g., oilsands mines. Methane leaks. Tailpipes.
Capturing upstream operations in oil & gas operations does nothing to reduce the 80–90% of emissions generated from a barrel of oil downstream at the consumer end. CCS does not capture other fossil fuel pollutants.
CCS is a delay tactic to keep the O&G industry on life support for decades. Huge expense for tiny emissions reduction at taxpayers' expense.
A plan to fail.
CCS is an underperforming
CCS is an underperforming white elephant. The two projects now online in AB required govt subsidy to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to capture a tiny fraction of emissions — and only from large emitters.
Expensive, inefficient, and energy-intensive, CCS for O&G simply perpetuates the fossil fuel regime. CCS means fossil fuels for longer. More emissions, not less. A plan to "green" fossil fuels, not get off them. CCS keeps us dependent on fossil fuels — not a transformative solution.
Subsidies for CCS undermine carbon pricing. Carbon pricing is intended to make it more expensive to emit carbon. CCS subsidies offset companies higher carbon costs, blunting the financial incentive. Ottawa boasts about climate leadership, but sabotages its own carbon pricing policy. Small wonder the O&G is pushing CCS (especially for enhanced oil recovery) — as long as taxpayers foot most of the bill. Violating the polluter-pay principle.
Energy ecologist Vaclav Smil: "Mark my words, there'll be no massive sequestration of carbon. There hasn't been any, and there'll not be any next year, or 2025, or 2030."
If CCS is effective, efficient, and economic (it isn't), hugely profitable O&G companies can pay for it. CCS is a plan to fail at taxpayers' expense.
This is the fossil fuel industry's response to climate change. Based on its desire to protect its profits — not protect the climate, environment, and society.
Which also explains why taxpayers are largely going to foot the bill. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney asked the federal government for $30 billion in funding to explore carbon capture technologies. If CCS is effective, efficient, and economic, let industry pay for it. An industry raking in billions of dollars in profits does not need taxpayer help.
"Every tool in the toolbox"
"Every tool in the toolbox"
Like all slogans, this one is intended to bypass critical thinking.
No, we do not use every tool in the toolbox, even in an emergency. We use the right tools. The tools most suited to the job. The most efficient tools. Where resources are scarce, we use the cheapest tools that do the job most economically. Definitely avoid tools that prolong the problem or make it worse.
When the river is in flood, we use sandbags. Rocks and stones. Not paper towels, expensive sofa cushions, or chicken wire.
Climate dollars should be spent on the most efficient, cost-effective carbon reduction methods. Get the biggest bang for our climate buck. Cost is a key consideration for climate because those same dollars spent more wisely could achieve far greater emissions reductions.
I think CCUS is an expensive
I think CCUS is an expensive (for taxpayers) distraction well summarized by our friends at Juice Media - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSZgoFyuHC8.
"a tax credit to help drive
"a tax credit to help drive the growth of Canadian CCUS technologies in industries like concrete, steel, plastics, fuels and hydrogen"
Concrete - CCUS can make sense, but only after the industry has pursued all available efficiency measures, and emerging green alternatives to concrete are encouraged through subsidies and through removal of regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles
Steel - CCUS can maybe make sense, but only after all steelworks have maximised use of scrap steel as input, and implemented comprehensive heat recovery measures. And after all steelworks currently dependent on coking ovens have shifted to a hydrogen-based system such as is now successfully running at Luleaa in Sweden.
Plastics - we should know by now that production of plastics needs to drastically reduced, but yes there could be a limited role for CCUS in this sector.
Fossil fuels - no, no, no, no, no. We need to phase them out, not sanitise them. In any case, look at the miserable results at SaskPower's Boundary Dam 3 coal-fired power station.
Hydrogen - again no. Why play around with supposedly transitional blue hydrogen when we can shift wholesale to green hydrogen from renewables-driven electrolysis?
Overall, the justification is limited to a few emissions sectors - all of them much smaller than fossil fuels in their emissions output - and all of which have other things that they need to do first. Some support for R&D is probably justifiable, but not subsidies for big business interests - which should instead be compelled to reduce then eliminate their emissions using their own substantial funds. Once again, we are being governed not on the basis of evidence but on the basis of which industries have the largest lobbying capacity.
All based on a faulty premise
All based on a faulty premise: "Science tells us that emissions must go down — urgently. Steadily, we have to chart a path to net-zero emissions." No, gentlemen. The science tells us that we have to get to virtually zero carbon (that is, non-combustion energy) as rapidly as possible." Net-zero is a deadly boondoggle. CCS is a useless, expensive boondoggle. The Burning Age is over.
An industry as rich as the
An industry as rich as the oil & gas industry does not need tax credits. Tax them into oblivion and use the proceeds to build a green future.
Respect to the editorial team
Respect to the editorial team of National Observer for (rightfully!) changing the headline on this piece. This decision was appropriate considering that what the article itself is is little more than thinly-veiled propaganda from a government that seems utterly hell-bent on pursuing every single action except the actually necessary ones to addressing Canada's climate-wrecking fossil fuel industry.
It's telling that their title "Every Tool in the Toolbox" only focused on the broken one of CCUS, and appreciably ironic considering that these two are positioning themselves as the only real tools around.
Regenerative agriculture is
Regenerative agriculture is the cheapest and most efficient way to remove atmospheric carbon and transport it into the soil where it is stored. Conversion of just half of the Canadian Prairies to RA practices will not only remove and store billions of tonnes of CO2 a year but will also build up the soil resource and result in higher yields and greater drought and flood resistance.
The basics include no tillage, continuous cover and the use of CO2 and nitrogen-fixing cover crops between plantings of cash crops, like wheat. Simple, effective, cheap and runs on sunlight.
RA has been proven effective over and again in long-term, large-scale tests by USask, the Rodale Institute and several other US, Australian and Asian agricultural organizations. Similar practices are applicable to forestry, especially continuous cover.
Neither the above article or comments touched on RA and tended to focus on exorbitantly expensive high tech. That is disappointing.
Just Have A Think on Regenerative Agriculture:
Perhaps the problem is that
Perhaps the problem is that farmers are not as powerful a lobby group or rich enough to donate enough dollars to political parties to garner their attention as CAPP.
What a sad commentary on our so-called climate fighting Liberal government.
This is what carbon engineer
This is what carbon engineer and professor of public policy at Harvard University (formerly a prof at the University of Calgary), David Keith, had to say about government investment in CCS as a strategy for reducing GHG emissions from oil and gas production when he addressed the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources on February 28, 2022:
[D]espite serving years ago on the five person federal panel that recommended some of the key carbon capture and storage investments in Alberta, I hope that little effort is put into reducing upstream emissions. Doing so will just sink more money into cutting those emissions, and that can't in the long run secure Alberta's or Canada's economic future. It may divert money from other investments, so increasing our dependence on oil and gas.
After all, eliminating upstream emissions can only eliminate about a fifth of the overall emissions from the life cycle of oil and gas use. Most emissions come when the product is burned. The problem is the product, not the process of making it. That is the essential reason why Alberta and Canada must look beyond the oil and gas sector.
If we want a stable climate, we can't keep putting CO2 in the atmosphere. We can argue about how quickly the transition needs to be there and there are legitimately different views, but we will have to stop.
I urge you to move towards a stringent cap on upstream oil and gas emissions both to protect the climate and because it is in the long-run interests of Albertans and other Canadians whose economies are tied to oil and gas.
Of course, people with short-run interests in the current system, the fossil fuel party, will argue the contrary, but theirs are not the only legitimate voices in Alberta.
Exactly so L. Adkin…thank you
Exactly so L. Adkin…thank you for providing the link to Mr. Keith’s testimony.
I think Ministers Wilkinson and Guibault will have to fire the senior bureaucrat’s in their respective Ministries in order to start thinking for themselves again. Including oil and gas with cement, steel, fertilizer industries…really? Billions in tax credits to do a half assed job addressing 20 % of the carbon intensity from a barrel of oil…really?
Stop drinking the kool aid…clean house…fire the senior bureaucrats…they have been captured by CAPP and their fosshole cronies.
All the experts tell us that
All the experts tell us that CCAS is a false solution that industry wants subsidized so they can continue to produce fossil fuels. Why do politicians like Guilbeault and Wilkinson try to convince us this is the only way? Is our govt being threatened with economic collapse if these corporations don't get their way? Why is it other countries can turn to renewable forms of energy and Canada can't. What is the truth here?
It's called bri--uh, campaign
It's called bri--uh, campaign contributions.
Presumably, it is easier for
Presumably, it is easier for other countries to transition because they are net importers of fossil fuels. The faster they transition the more they save. Canada is a net exporter of fossil fuels, earning us big money. The more we transition the more we lose.
No matter what the political rhetoric or climate action plans say, we will be one of the last ones on the planet to transition away from a source that brings us big earnings. Hopefully, renewables will be a lot cheaper by then. Until then we will patiently watch, keep lining our pockets, and let others spend to scale cleaner technologies and make them cheaper in the process.
I hope that explains it.
Wow! that's telling them...
Wow! that's telling them... so much of the CCUS government plan is truly a snare and delusion. What can you expect from the Canadian governments past and present who have been turned into "tools" by the CCAP. As mentioned elsewhere this pronouncement by the cabinet ministers flies in the face of the history of failures and government efforts to avoid the issue and continue to derive profit from fossil fuels. We will make no progress until we replace all these tools, lining the pockets of the thieving oil/gas sector!
This is a stupid idea, and
This is a stupid idea, and economically illiterate. Well, frankly, a disingenuous pretence of being economically illiterate.
You don't use every tool in the toolbox. Nobody sane ever does that, it's a stupid metaphor. You use the right tools for the job. If you have actual nails to drive, you want to have a hammer and use it; you should not be wasting half your time trying to get those nails into the wall with needle-nose pliers.
In economic terms, you don't use every possible approach, you evaluate the different approaches and you use the ones which give you the best value for money. CCS gives absolutely terrible value for money. It is possible that decades down the road it might become cost effective, but it is not very likely. For decades fossil fuel mouthpieces have been saying we can't change to renewables like wind and solar because they're too new and experimental and so we should study them to death first instead. Well it's decades later and they're not new and experimental any more. They work, they work well, roll them bloody well out. Same goes for various forms of energy efficiency, such as in building design. Same goes for public transit. CCS, on the other hand, IS new and experimental (and a fundamentally bad idea for other reasons), so I think now is the time to spend three decades studying it while we get on with doing things that actually work. Bottom line, spending a ton of money on CCS has a huge opportunity cost; if you're squandering money on something excessively expensive and largely useless (except for recovering more oil via carbon injection into wells) then you are not spending that money on real climate action.
Meanwhile, from a social/political perspective, if you have an overridingly important objective, and you have one political force which has consistently for decades opposed achieving that objective, you do not prioritize methods which will preserve the political power of that force. The only reason to do that would be if you don't genuinely want to achieve the objective. I had a bit of doubt about Mr. Guilbeault, which I was willing to give him some benefit of. But it seems he's just another two-faced politico willing to talk climate action but unwilling to do anything very useful about it if his bosses in the petroleum sector don't like it.
Good points about tools and I
Good points about tools and I especially agree with "if you have an overrridingly important objective, and you have one political force which has consistently for decades opposed achieving that objective, you do not prioritize methods which will preserve the political power of that force." Unless having a sparring partner takes precedence over everything else, along with the theatre of it all, so the show business for ugly people idea. Televising what goes on in the House of Commons can't have helped, nor does FPTP. With the obsession of winning in play, the literal forest is obscured for the trees.
Absolutely no tax credits for
Absolutely no tax credits for fossil corporations without 100 times as much taxpayer dollars first being provided for renewables, regenerative agriculture and a just transition for fossil workers while fossil fuels are being phased out. That makes a lot more sense towards getting us out of the climate mess in time and it will be far better for the economy.
Which of These are the Voices of Reason over a Proposed Tax Credit for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)?
On March 7, 2022, former Liberal Minister of the Environment Catherine McKenna had severe reservations over giving a tax credit to the fossil fuel industry as an incentive to invest in CCUS. She said the following in her conversation with The Energy Mix:
“What is extremely frustrating is that we know a large part of what works” to reduce emissions, and “that includes actually doing the hard work of reducing emissions and not waiting for some innovation,” McKenna told The Mix. “And it’s an open question how much government should be supporting innovation in a sector that has very large budgets,” like oil and gas.
“When you see companies issue large dividends, fail to invest in technology, and make large profits, then ask the government to step up but say there’s no way they would do it themselves, it actually makes you wonder about their business model.”
The backdrop to that question is that, “by the way, we’re cleaning up their messes,” added McKenna, who served as Canada’s first-ever environment and climate change minister from 2015 to 2019. “Why are we having to [fund reclamation of] abandoned wells? That’s their mess, whether it’s companies that went out of business or not, it’s the industry.” And after all the “pushback and hopes and prayers for the future” McKenna said she encountered as minister, the massive tailings ponds in the Alberta tar sands/oil sands are still “the mess we’ve all inherited as taxpayers”.
End of quote from The Energy Mix:
The fossil fuel companies she mentioned that went out of business and left us with abandoned oil wells to clean up should have paid for the clean up before they went out of business: namely with increased royalties at time they created those oil wells.
Similarly, the fossil fuel companies that are polluting the atmosphere now should be concurrently paying for their own “clean up” of the atmosphere by paying for their own CCUS, instead of forcing that expense onto us the taxpayers. That would be a more fair “business model,” as McKenna phrased it.
In other words, the government should make it a “stick” (ie. a legal requirement) instead of a “carrot” paid for by us taxpayers, in many cases at high risk.
Then, on March 14, Ministers Wilkinson and Ministers Guilbeault wrote in the National Observer:
“As a government, we want to make sure we support this innovation. That’s why we’re proposing a tax credit to help drive the growth of Canadian CCUS technologies in industries like concrete, steel, plastics, fuels and hydrogen. The oil and gas industry, which contributes 26 per cent of Canada’s overall emissions but also employs over 70,000 people directly, shouldn’t — and won’t — be excluded. That said, the tax credit cannot be used for CCUS activities designed to extract more petroleum.
The tax credit is an important part of our plan to mobilize substantial private capital towards clean technologies. To those who view CCUS as being too expensive, the tax credit will accelerate the private investment, driving down costs and encouraging widespread market adoption.”
Our response to Ministers Wilkinson and Ministers Guilbeault, takes the same approach that former Liberal Minister McKenna takes:
If you really think that part of your climate plan must be distracted by CCUS, then paying for those high risk endeavors should be a legal requirement of the fossil fuel industry -- instead of providing them with a no-risk tax incentive paid for by us the taxpayers. In other words, make it a stick instead of a carrot paid for, at high risk, by us taxpayers.
Furthermore, you have said that “the tax credit cannot be used for CCUS activities designed to extract more petroleum.” But, even so, if there is any tax credit associated with any CO2 producing activity, regardless of whether that activity is extraction or not, then that tax credit is alleviating the costs of that activity, thus directly and/or indirectly incentivizing that CO2-producing activity. Reducing emissions is all about not incentivizing any CO2-producing activity.
Furthermore consider the fact that some of the CCUS technology is more proven and reliable than others. This means that each of these varying degrees of reliability carries with it varying degrees of risk when we, the taxpayers, invest in each one of them. All of these technologies do not carry the same degree of risk. Why should the taxpayer be burdened with the high risks of new venture capital? Most business models that include new venture capital will build in their own risk models to be paid for by their own investment, not externalized onto the taxpayer.
Speaking of externalizations of costs, what happens if many or most of these new CCUS activities spend away our precious remaining carbon budget and end up not being able to retrieve the carbon that was put into our atmosphere? There is no planet B.
If there is no planet B, why are we not acting like it when it comes to CCUS high risk technologies? The stakes could not be higher.
With the stakes so high, the most rational voice is that of Robert Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1997 to 2002, who stated: “Relying on untested carbon dioxide removal mechanisms to achieve the Paris targets when we have the technologies to transition away from fossil fuels today is plain wrong and foolhardy. Why are we willing to gamble the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, the beautiful life all around us, and the futures of our children?”
Which of these are the voices of reason over a proposed tax credit for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)? You decide.
That is simply one of the
That is simply one of the most well-crafted commentaries I have ever read on this site, and there are several authors / commenters with exceptional skills here. It not only covers technology, but the economic preconceptions behind making these tax and public finance decisions. Really good and shockingly direct references to recent strong criticism by the former federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, who used to repeat the government myth that they need the revenue from TMX to build renewables. As if. She has changed her tune now that she is a private citizen.
I would urge the editors to bring Boyd Reimer's comment forward as an independent article and as an exemplary rebuttal to the fed's intentions on CCUS.
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