Spectra Energy's gas processing plant at Fort Nelson is the site of a pilot project for carbon dioxide capture and storage.

B.C. debates carbon capture legislation

Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman says changes needed to regulation of CO2 capture and storage deep underground

As it prepares to take part in the latest United Nations conference on climate change in December, the B.C. government is changing legislation to permit development of carbon dioxide capture and storage from its northeast B.C. natural gas deposits.

Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman said the changes will give the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission authority to regulate projects that strip carbon dioxide from raw gas and inject it back into salt water formations deep underground.

“Although we’ve had a look at it over the years and have actually had projects that looked like they might go ahead at some point in time, we find that we don’t have the overall regulatory framework to actually allow and be successful with CCS,” Coleman told the legislature as he introduced the amendments.

One of the changes protects Oil and Gas Commission employees from being named in lawsuits related to their decisions.

In 2008, the B.C. government put in $3.4 million towards a $12 million feasibility study at Spectra Energy’s gas processing facilities at Fort Nelson, one of the largest gas plants in North America. The federal government and the U.S. Department of Energy also helped fund the study.

Initial results showed saline aquifers more than two kilometres deep could act as permanent storage for CO2, but the project has not yet proceeded to construction, and extracted CO2 is still being vented to the atmosphere.

Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington said CCS is a promising technology, but the gas industry in B.C. is responsible for 15 per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions, and venting of CO2 from plants and wells accounts for a quarter of that.

Huntington said the proposed development of liquefied natural gas exports means more CO2 emissions from gas extraction as well as LNG processing.

Premier Christy Clark and Environment Minister Mary Polak are scheduled to join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other premiers at the latest climate change summit in Paris in early December.

In his election campaign, Trudeau said he wanted Canada to take a leading role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but that the provinces should take the lead in determining how to regulate before a new national plan is developed.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

Painting Ourselves Visible group to create mural

A new partnership between Kootenay Gallery of Art and Castlegar Pride

Castlegar Skating Club prepares for regional championships

Watch local skaters on March 11 at 4:30 p.m.

Castlegar council develops policy for question period

Questions must pertain to current agenda items and issues or items of interest to the general public

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Most Read