Stephen Harper has unveiled the cornerstone of the Tories' environmental programme - a "clean coal" power plant in development in Saskatchewan.
The idea behind clean coal is to capture the CO2 emissions and sequester the carbon somewhere that it can't escape into the atmosphere. That goal presents a host of technological challenges, all of which have to be met if it is to be worth the expense and effort.
The way the Saskatchewan project is being hyped you would think that Canada scored some enormous breakthrough, something the rest of the world has been able to only dream of. Now you wouldn't know it to listen to Harpo but the Saskatchewan project. to which he's now conveniently lashed himself, was announced in 2002 and it was in 2002 that Saskatchewan announced its plans for a demonstration clean coal electricity plant in 2007.
Carbon capture technology has come a long way since 2002 but the problem then, as now, remains in sequestration. Capturing the CO2 is only good if you can find a way to store it - safely and permanently.
The popular concept of sequestration is to pump the gas under high pressure into existing oil wells where it will actually help in the extraction of remaining oil reserves. It sounds good, in theory, but there can be problems. For starters, the gas sits there waiting to escape. It just sits there, at high pressure, waiting and waiting and waiting for something, such as a fissure to develop. If one of these reservoirs is breached you don't want to be living anywhere near it, at least if you want to go on living.
What's troubling is that the most technologically challenging part - sequestration - is the part that's almost never mentioned. Instead our attention is diverted to the shiny bits - carbon capture.
But, for Harpo, it's all sleight of hand. It's a promise he won't be around to keep anyway and it's something he can use to conceal his deliberate failure to take any meaningful action to curb GHG emissions.