The next time Big Oil and those in their thrall, including Messrs. Harper & Ignatieff, give you the standard drivel about how CCS, carbon capture & sequestration, is going to redeem the Athabasca Tar Sands disaster, tell'em to look Down Under.
Australia. The Gorgon natural gas field off Barrow Island. Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell have agreed to invest in the project - but their money comes with a hitch as Big Oil money almost always does.
In the case of Australia's Gorgon gas field the hitch is an indemnity against damages from all that sequestered carbon dioxide escaping hundreds of years into the future. And that indemnity comes from where? Why, from the Australian taxpayers of course. The Fossil Fuelers negotiated an indemnity from the Australian government for the toxic time bomb they'll be creating underground.
Australian energy minister Martin Ferguson boasts that the Gorgon and similar LNG projects will transform Australia into an "energy superpower." Sound familiar?
The Australian government says "no worries" to the idea of anything ever, ever going wrong with the sequestered CO2 although the Gorgon field sits astride geological fault lines and there have been eight tremors there over the past 30-years.
If they got away with it in Australia, how long before Alberta's Oil Patch goes after Alberta and Ottawa for the same sweetheart deal?