Prime minister announces $156M in climate change dollars for Alberta


The Padre
Oct 27, 2006
By Dean Bennett

EDMONTON (CP) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to the beating heart of Canada's petroleum industry Thursday to announce almost $156 million for projects to bleed away greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

"The era of empty rhetoric on the environment is over. We're taking real action that will produce real, tangible results," Harper told reporters at a news conference with Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach.

It was one of a number of announcements by both levels of government meant to signal the dawn of a new green day.

Harper also announced a joint federal-Alberta panel to recommend the best way to implement carbon capture technology.

Carbon capture, which is already being implemented on a small scale, allows carbon dioxide to be stripped from emissions and stored underground or used to squeeze oil out of depleted formations.

"Instead of pumping tonnes of carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere, we may be able to collect it from our oil sands, our coal-fired electrical plants and other industrial emitters and pump it deep underground where it will remain for eternity," said Harper.

The panel will look at the regulatory, technical and economic challenges of large-scale carbon capture and report by November.

The $156 million will be used for projects that could include the carbon capture or other trial projects such as converting municipal waste in Edmonton into electricity.

The funding came from the new Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change. Both Stelmach and Harper were careful to reassure industry that they will look toward new technology for ways to reduce emissions without harming business.

"All Canadians are looking for a balance between economic growth and environmental protection," Harper said. "Finding that balance is the fundamental challenge of our time."

Alberta is considering a $1.5-billion carbon dioxide pipeline from the oilsands, but critics say such a project would be several years away.

The Sierra Club said governments should be acting to cut carbon dioxide emissions rather than funding projects such as the pipeline, which only encourage dependence on oil and gas.

"Canadian and Albertan taxpayers should not be footing the bill for this industry to clean up its act," the club's Prairie director, Lindsay Telfer, said in a news release.

Earlier Thursday, Stelmach's government tabled a bill to force large scale carbon emitters to cut carbon emission intensities by 12 per cent by the end of the year or face financial penalties.

The proposed legislation will direct companies that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year to begin cutting emissions by July 1.

Of the 100 facilities expected to be affected, those that don't meet the new standards by year's end can either pay for offsets from other Alberta projects or pay $15 for every tonne over the limit. The money would go into a special fund that would look for ways to reduce climate change.

Stelmach said the initiatives show that Alberta and industry are leaders in finding ways to cut emissions - and Canadians, he said, know that.

"They understand that Alberta is the engine that drives the national economy," he said.

"What's good for Alberta really is good for Canada, and that includes the environment."

Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner said he expects few of the 100 will meet the targets in such a short time. He predicts the province will collect up $175 million from them for the research fund.

Alberta has been a flashpoint of environmental debate. Actual greenhouse gas emissions in the province have increased by 40 per cent since 1990, largely due to oilsands development.

Alberta opposition Liberal Hugh MacDonald applauded the carbon capture initiative but said true emission reductions have to be made rather than reductions in intensity.

"The intensity targets haven't worked to date and they're not going to work.

"There has to be a mandated solution here - solid mandatory numbers."

Copyright © 2007 Canadian Press


Council Member
Jun 27, 2004
Well thats great to hear them say that companies will have to begin cutting emissions by July 1 2007.

Carbon capture is a positive measure, and so is creating electricity from waste, especially when it would otherwise go straight into the atmosphere.

Harper's Clean Air plan will not step up to do what we really need to do for global warming. The primary solution to global warming will be "renewable energy" from wind and solar power. Some of these will be large installations, but much of it could be individuals hooking up solar or wind right at ther homes and small businesses, and creating their own electricity.

The Plug-in hybrid cars, or all-electric cars, can be powered from electricity you produce at home, and will really start the ball rolling in the right direction.

The hurdle will be corporate culture, who does not want to see the end of the situation where we all pay into a single corporate entity for electricity. They will lose out, but regular people, individuals, will be the new owners and collect the profits of excess electrical production for themselves. That will be a new era in our culture, the start of renewable energy and Peace.


Council Member
Feb 3, 2007
Thank God, we are not doing the awful socialist Kyoto Accord anymore

And sanctus, thanks, you know what I am referring too.


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 27, 2006
The only difference I can see to Kyoto is that the money will be spent here in Canada, which is gravy. Good for Harper, good for Canada.


Council Member
Feb 3, 2007
Yep the money is spent on us and not wasted in 3rd world nations.

\Kyoto is a joke and Dion is a joke for supporting it.


House Member
Feb 16, 2003
the money would cut down on "global warming" more, if it was spent on shadecloth so as to shade the planet from the increasing solar activity