From Greenwire ($ub. req’d) comes this news from Alberta that sounds so promising and then gets it so very wrong.

First the good news: Alberta, under continuing pressure to do something about their tar-sand driven boom in CO2 emissions, has committed to using C$4 billion worth ($3.92 billion) of their budget surplus to lowering CO2 emissions. Whatever one thinks of tar sands, that’s admirable.

But then, in an all-too-common case of confusing the path with the goal, they have announced that the money will be split into two $2 billion funds: One set aside to boost the use of public transport and the other set aside for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Better yet, some of the CCS will be used for enhanced oil field recovery, defeating the initial purpose.

The good news is that governments are taking climate seriously. The bad news is that climate policy remains a decidedly shoddy endeavor. We can do better.

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Story below the fold.

Canada’s oil-rich Alberta province said yesterday it will put C$4 billion ($3.92 billion) into two funds designed to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions.

The Alberta government said it will put C$2 billion in each fund — one that would pay for carbon capture and storage programs and another that would boost the use of public transportation in the province. The cash will come from the budget surplus — a figure last estimated to be C$1.6 billion, but expected to be billions of dollars higher due to revenues from record-high oil prices.

“We’re reducing the impact of industrial emissions with carbon capture and storage and investing in public transit to reduce the impact from our tailpipes,” Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach said in a statement.

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Environmental groups have put pressure on the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The province’s oil sands deposits hold the largest oil reserves outside the Middle East, and projects to exploit them produce massive amounts of emissions.

Alberta’s government said it will encourage carbon capture and storage projects, where carbon dioxide is removed from industrial emissions and buried underground or used to push oil from aging reservoirs. The province expects to be able to capture 5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year (Scott Haggett, Reuters, July 8).