In April Premier Ed Stelmach set up a 15-member council to advise Alberta on the best methods for capturing and storing carbon emissions. Their report was due back in the fall.
However in May the US declared that the polar bear is a threatened species, restricting federal agencies from authorizing anything that jeopardizes the bears' survival or the sea ice where they live.
Thus shining the light on the tar sands as one of the largest producers of greenhouse gasses, a primary cause for the shrinking ice flows.
By June the awareness of the tar sands had grown and the the annual conference of US mayors resolved to ban the use of tar sands production from their municipal vehicles.And this week, not waiting for his councils report, Ed announced that Alberta will invest $2 billion that will go straight towards energy companies that construct large-scale carbon capture storage products,
"The $2-billion we're spending is the largest amount dedicated to carbon capture and storage anywhere in the world," he said.However the worlds leading experts in CCS (carbon capture and storage) techniques predict that CCS will not be a serious solution for greenhouse gases until 2015 or 2020. Not to mention that no projects have been attempted on such a large scale and the preferred storage solutions are deep within the oceans, not land based. (ref here and here)
There's an old saying Ed. When you realize that you have dug yourself into a hole, the first thing you should do is stop digging.
And that should start with the Kearls project. The planned open-pit mining operation with expected tailing ponds the size of 20,000 football fields.
No one expects Alberta to stop producing oil. I mean a day without Alberta producing oil would be a day without sunshine, we get it.
Just stop the expansion of the tar sands until the technology is in place.