Shell Canada Funded Millions in Quest Carbon Capture and Storage Project

By Cheryl Lindsay

Burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas through transportation and energy development contributes the greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change around the world. CCS (Carbon Capture & Storage) captures carbon from an industrial source, then liquefies it and ships it to a different location for storage where it will not enter the atmosphere. Although this method has not been proven, countries around the world are investing millions and billions of dollars in this technology, and Canada is no different. Is this just a “band-aid” solution or is there real potential?
Alberta’s geography is deemed ideal for CCS with a large basin of porous rock in which the liquefied carbon can be stored. Recently, the province of Alberta has teamed up with Shell to utilize this resource and begin to take one million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from Shell’s Scotford upgrader northeast of Edmonton and store it underground. The premier of Alberta states that the province “is demonstrating its ongoing leadership in realizing the commercial-scale deployment of this technology and greening our energy production.” However, the taxpayers of Alberta do not seem to agree on this multi-million dollar deal. It is said that the taxpayers and voters of Alberta do not support such large amounts of public money going to a large, international energy company.

• Proponents say the technology is the best way to feed the consumer appetite for fossil fuels while still reducing pollution

• Opponents say the technology is expensive and unproven

• They also fear leaks of concentrated carbon dioxide could poison underground water sources or kill people if released to the surface

How do you feel about CCS as a technology? How do you feel about taxpayer’s dollars going towards this project and being partnered with Shell?

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Cheryl Lindsay is an undergrad student and the University of Toronto, Mississauga. She is currently enrolled in the CCIT program pursuing a specialist in Digital Enterprise Management. Cheryl is a student intern with the Altitude Accelerator acting as Assisting Communications Officer.

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