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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Once again, Alberta is ahead of the pack in exploring Carbon Capture Systems to reduce (GHG) emissions – Jason Nixon

While John Horgan’s BC NDP government, and the federal Liberal government of Justin Trudeau, continue to put a ‘price on pollution’, Alberta’s Conservative government, under the leadership of Jason Kenney, is actively at work to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases.

On April 1st of this year, the provincial carbon tax in BC rose from $35 to $40 per tonne of C02. This tax will continue to rise, as it has now for over a decade, as it sees $5 increase each year until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2021.

Minister Nixon, joined by Steve MacDonald of Emissions
Reduction Alberta, Joerg Nixdorf of Lehigh Hanson, and
Beth Hardy of the International CCS Knowledge Centre,
announces a carbon capture and storage feasibility study
at Lehigh Cement’s Edmonton plant
Meantime across the border in neighbouring Alberta, Emissions Reduction Alberta is making $1.4 million in funding available to support the $3-million feasibility study, which will look at capturing and storing emissions from Lehigh Cement’s Edmonton plant.

We are part of a vision of CO2 neutral concrete by 2050, and the potential of concrete to become the most sustainable building material”, said Joerg Nixdorf, president of Lehigh Hanson in Canada.

The Lehigh CCS study is a leading initiative for carbon capture in cement and demonstrates HeidelbergCement’s commitment to lead global change for CCS in our industry.”

If the project goes forward, Lehigh could avoid up to 90 per cent of its current emissions per year and create about 20 full-time jobs.

The project, which aligns with Alberta’s new Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system, will help industries deploy pioneering, emissions-reducing technologies that will keep businesses competitive. The system will also support research and investment in clean, Alberta-based technologies like carbon capture systems (CCS).

Once again, Alberta is ahead of the pack. Exploring Carbon Capture Systems to reduce emissions in the cement industry is a prime example of the innovative, game-changing technology our TIER system will support”, stated Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks.

Quest Carbon Capture System near Edmonton
It also shows the bold leadership and entrepreneurial spirit of our industries, that continue to set an example by seeking out unique solutions and untapped technologies that can lower emissions at home and around the world.”

According to the Alberta government, their province is a leader in CCS development. In a media release early this morning (November 28th) the government used the Quest carbon capture and storage project as an example of the first application of CCS in the world at an oilsands upgrader.

The Quest facility has captured and safely injected more than four million tonnes of emissions since 2015. Commenting on the work being done in Alberta, Steve MacDonald (CEO of Emissions Reduction Alberta) stated:

Reducing emissions in energy-intensive industries like cement requires going beyond incremental improvement to accelerating the development and market introduction of new and emerging low-carbon technologies”.

He then continued, “Emissions Reduction Alberta’s funding allows industry to learn by doing projects of the right scale, scope and effectiveness. This work will help advance the actions Alberta and the world need to meet their economic and environmental ambitions.”

The International CCS Knowledge Centre will also bring its expertise to Lehigh’s feasibility study. Experts from the centre were involved in designing and building SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3 Carbon Capture Facility – the world’s first and only commercial power plant to integrate CCS technology.

So, about that ‘price on pollution’, the federal Liberal government talks about?

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau goes about stating that, "It will no longer be free to pollute anywhere in Canada", the province of Alberta is taking actual steps to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases, all the while refusing to tax pollution.

Current carbon tax rates in British Columbia
That makes sense – why a tax that allows for pollution, when instead, investments can be made to reduced GHG’s?

But instead, what is Alberta’s reward for their work in promoting carbon reducing technologies ... along with those of Saskatchewan and Ontario? 

An imposed Carbon Tax.
Meantime, according to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, speaking in New Brunswick back in July, “Minister McKenna’s own Environment Department has said that it should go up to $300 a tonne to meet Paris climate targets. If you really believe in a carbon tax as an instrument of climate policy, then you need a carbon tax of $200 to $300 minimum to have any meaningful effect on consumption.”

It seems crazy to me to penalize provinces like this ... but I think it’s more about taxes, and perhaps Trudeau wanting to look good on the foreign stage.

Quick facts
  • CCS is a technology that can capture and store more than 90 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes, preventing the emissions from entering the atmosphere.
  • Lehigh Cement Edmonton estimates a capture rate of 600,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. If 90 per cent of those emissions were captured, Lehigh would avoid 540,000 tonnes of emissions annually – the same as taking 104,000 cars off the road for one year.
  • Emissions Reduction Alberta works with the Government of Alberta, industry and innovators to accelerate the development of innovative technologies that reduce emissions. It is helping Alberta transition to a lower-carbon future with a stronger, sustainable and more diversified economy.
  • Emissions Reduction Alberta is funded by revenue from the current Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation, which will transition to the TIER system on Jan. 1, 2020.


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