A Fox in Sheep’s Clothing

November 28, 2008

That’s the best way I can describe some of the apparent pitfalls that this year’s conference in Poznan must avoid.  Let me clarify.  There is a proposal to make ‘Carbon Capture and Sequestration’ or CCS, that is, the long term storage of CO2 underground, approved as a means of ‘selling’ carbon credits.  That is, it would allow those employing the technology to receive an alottment of carbon credits which might then be sold to carbon polluters.  Seems like a good idea, no?

No! While there may be some valid technology somewhere, someday, to pull CO2 out of the air and stabilize it for storage underground ‘safely’ (kind of reminds you of proposals for ‘safe storage’ of spent nuclear fuel, eh?)… what it actually is, is another subsidy for the oil industry.  That is, they already want to pump stuff into wells that are running dry, or where the oil is too viscous for ordinary pumping methods, in order to pressurize the wells and force more oil out.  Then they propose to simply ‘cap’ the well and keep all this pressurized CO2 in the ground… forever.  Right!  They attest to the geological stability of these areas, where there have been no major earthquakes for hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions of years.

Issues of stability of the formations and the pressurized CO2 by the millions of tons aside… it is just another way for the oil industry to increase their revenues, through the sale of these carbon credits, and thus to make marginal oil reserves more economic, and even squeeze more profit out of their reserves in general.

This proposal must be defeated.