Quest carbon capture project costing public funds 1000 times that of the village funded Haida Salmon Restoration Project, and yielding a tiny fraction of the benefit is underway. A consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and backed heavily by Alberta and federal government investment, has launched a $1.35 billion dollar project to bury greenhouse gases from the oil sands.
The Alberta energy industry project will capture carbon dioxide emissions from the Scotford upgrader, a huge oil sands establishment northeast of Edmonton, and pipe the CO2 to a site 80 kilometres north, where it will be injected 2.3 kilometres below the surface.
Quest is expected to cost $1.35-billion to build and run for 10 years, leaving Shell with a $485-million construction price tag, after subtracting the initial government grants. But Shell’s actual investment is far lower, because Alberta’s carbon legislation that currently assigns a $15 cost per tonne of carbon is gifting to Quest an additional subsidy with a two-for-one credit for the tonnes of CO2 it buries. That credit subsidy is worth enough to trim the Shell’s Quest price tag to as little as $155-million over the first decade, government will absorb the rest, well over $1 billion.
Quest is designed to capture more than one million tonnes of CO2 per year from Shell’s Scotford Upgrader, located near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. This is the equivalent to taking 175,000 cars off the road. Shell states that over a 25-year period, Quest will cost at least $72 per tonne of carbon it captures and stores.
Here is some simple math to put this into a context you might understand.
Take for example a long airline flight between continents, your passenger carbon footprint is nearly 2 tonnes. So if the Quest project is to become economically viable, as the government is betting more than a billion dollar investment, that it will we have a big problem. The price of carbon has to be at least $72. With the Alberta Quest carbon price to make your round trip airline ticket carbon neutral you’ll be adding $300 to the ticket price just for the break even carbon cost.
Keep in mind that today those airlines that sell you “greened” airline tickets where you pay them to buy carbon offsets for you, they mark up the carbon offsets by 2x or more. So the reality is your $1200 intercontinental airfare in 5 years time is going to be 50% more with the Alberta Quest price for carbon mitigation.
How does this compare with the ocean restoration project of the Village of Old Massett. In 2012 the village replenished mineral micronutrients to one of the villages traditional ocean pastures and the pasture was restored to a state of health common to a century ago. The cost of the village project was very close to just 1/1000th the cost of Quest, a million NOT a billion dollars.
The plankton blooms that grew on the pasture are largely consumed by all of ocean life, salmon, sea birds, whales, everything. By growing phyto-plankton the grass of the ocean pasture the village ocean plants consumed CO2 and that CO2 came from your air travel, tailpipe and household energy emissions.
How much CO2 did the village ocean pasture consume. Given that we have the most intensive and extensive collection of measurements ever acquired on such a project we are in the process of verifying and certifying the number. We can say without any doubt that the Haida ocean pasture captured and converted into plankton, fish food, tens of millions of tonnes of CO2. A small part of that CO2 based new fish food, something akin to the tip you might leave at a restaurant when you have a good meal, sank into the abyss where it is sequestered for centuries to millennia.
So there is good news for you but bad news for the billion dollar engineering boondoggle the feds and Alberta are banking on with their buds at Shell. Your carbon neutral airline ticket will go up by more like $30 instead of Shells marked up $600 carbon price. And you’ll be able to enjoy some wonderful healthy wild Pacific salmon as your in-flight meal.
Wonder why the village project is being persecuted by the government, government owned media, green groups who are asking for donations for a carbon problem they desperatle don’t want to see a solution for, and others…. follow the money!