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

The Capital Regional District spent $1.7 million to restore the Todd Creek Trestle. (Sooke News Mirror)
Todd Creek Trestle restoration completed

Restoration work adds 35 to 50 years to life span of the structure

An artists rendering of the proposed Aragon Properties development in Sooke’s town centre shows a friendly, walkable neighbourhood. (Contributed graphic)
Large housing development eyed for Sooke core

Aragon Properties seeks to build 132 housing units

Local New Democrat Zeb King welcomed Premier John Horgan during a brief photo opportunity in Sidney Monday afternoon (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
NDP leader John Horgan predicts party will ‘flip’ Saanich North and the Islands

Incumbent MLA Adam Olsen calls Horgan’s claim ‘bold’

A 23-foot sailboat that broke free from its anchor was smashed against Cattle Point during the early October south-easterly storms. (Ron Geezin Photo)
Storm-smashed boat pulled off rocks of Cattle Point in Oak Bay

Sailboat a casualty of last week’s big storms

West Shore RCMP say a single car crash into a power pole caused a power outage that affected over 1,500 residents in Colwood on Monday morning. (West Shore RCMP)
Vancouver driver cause of power outage in Colwood

Police detain 27-year-old man for impaired driving investigation

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

OPINION SIG
SOOKE HISTORY: Prince of Wales visited Sooke twice

Royal connections to Lady Emily Walker and Rev. Reginald Walker

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Most Read