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

Badinotti makes cash donations to North Island food banks

‘it’s fantastic that they are supporting community organizations like this’

‘A bottomless well of love for people and communities’

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor JR Rardon dies at age 61

NDP pushing for 10 days of paid sick days for all working Canadians

NDP has made the issue a requirement for their support of the Liberal government

No plans to rebuild Hardy Bay Industrial Centre after fire, owner says

A massive fire burnt down the old building in April

Port Hardy Fire Rescue adapts to new realities amidst COVID-19

Don’t forget to follow Port Hardy Fire Rescue on Facebook.

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Most Read