Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Carbon capture project leaking into their land, couple says

As many have predicted, it seems that carbon capture isn't the panacea many had hoped:
First there were the strange blooms of algae on water that had pooled in a gravel pit near Jane and Cameron Kerr’s house. Then there were the dead animals – a cat, an African goat, a rabbit, a duck, a half-dozen blackbirds. Then there were the night-time blowouts, which sounded like cannons and left gashes in the side of the pit.

But what started as a series of worrisome problems on a rural Saskatchewan property has now raised serious questions about the safety of carbon sequestration and storage, a technology that has drawn billions in spending from governments and industry, which have promoted it as a salve to Canada’s growth in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Before the blowouts made them nervous enough to leave home, the Kerrs lived on a farm near Weyburn, which is home to a major project that involves taking captured carbon dioxide and injecting it into the ground. It pumps 6,000 tonnes of the substance underground ever day; since 2000, it has sequestered more than 16 million tonnes, all of it 1.4 kilometres below the surface.

From the Globe. This is unfortunate, though not particularly surprising. Happily, Saskatchewan is looking at alternatives, notably buying electricity from Manitoba. The western route for Bipole III doesn't look so bad now, does it?

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