Saskatchewan

Boundary Dam Power Station among Saskatchewan's heaviest air polluters

A proponent of wind power says Saskatchewan can afford to tax carbon emissions.

SaskWind president says carbon taxes are a way of taxing pollution without raising PST

The federal government's direct-pricing plan means polluters will pay $10 per tonne starting in 2018, increasing to $50 per tonne by 2022. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

A proponent of wind power says Saskatchewan can afford to tax carbon emissions.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a federal carbon pricing deadline all provinces must comply with by 2018 — or the federal government will impose a price.

The federal government's direct-pricing plan means polluters will pay $10 per tonne starting in 2018, increasing to $50 per tonne by 2022.

James Glennie, president of SaskWind, said Premier Brad Wall knew this was coming, and needs to double check his math.

On Monday, Wall said a national carbon tax would siphon $2.5 billion from this province. Glennie said that's not true.
    
"All the monies from it will be kept within Saskatchewan," Glennie said. "This is not the feds just implementing another tax. This is simply saying, 'Tax what's bad. Don't tax what is good.' "
    
Glennie said carbon taxes are a way of taxing pollution without raising the PST.

According to Glennie, the province dodged carbon taxes years ago by trying to cut pollution at its coal-fired power plants. After cost overruns, delays, and problems, Glennie said Saskatchewan is still a big polluter.

"The government decided it was going to pick this winner — it decided to not put a price on carbon. It decided that it was going to try to find the best alternative. And it ended up wasting a billion dollars in carbon capture at Boundary Dam. Wind energy could have done the same job as Boundary Dam — had there been a price on carbon — for a billion dollars less."

He said Saskatchewan's emissions could be cut by at least 30 per cent by generating more wind power.

When asked about Glennie's comments, a government spokesperson said "we have a 50 per cent renewables goal by 2030 — which is one of the boldest in the country."

The government added wind power will be a part of its plans, "but it's not the only renewable needed to meet that goal."

As well, the government said, Boundary Dam Unit 3 "is working well and will reduce emissions this year by the equivalent of taking 200,000 vehicles off the road."

Saskatchewan's heaviest air polluters

Part of a carbon capture and storage facility is pictured at the Boundary Dam Power Station (background) in Estevan, Sask. on Thursday, October 2, 2014. (Michael Bell/Canadian Press)

According to the Ministry of Environment, "Saskatchewan is required to report to Environment and Climate Change Canada by facility, rather than organization."

Here is the most recent information about heavy emitters that environment officials could provide (data from Jan 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2014):

  1. Boundary Dam Power Station, Saskatchewan Power Corporation (Estevan): 4,994,430 (tonnes CO2 equivalents)
  2. Poplar River Power Station, Saskatchewan Power Corporation (Coronach): 4,641,652
  3. Shand Power Station, Saskatchewan Power Corporation (Estevan): 2,080,808
  4. Co-op Refinery Complex, Consumers; Co-operative Refineries Limited (Regina): 1,618,693
  5. Lloydminster Upgrader, Husky Oil Operations Limited (Lloydminster): 1,265,984
  6. Meridian Cogeneration Plant, Meridian Limited Partnership (Lloydminster): 910,798
  7. North Battleford G.S., Northland Power Inc. (RM of North Battleford): 740,513
  8. Mosaic Potash Belle Plaine, Mosaic Canada (Belle Plaine): 679,598
  9. Queen Elizabeth Power Station, Saskatchewan Power Corporation (Saskatoon): 673,222
  10. Cory Cogeneration Station, ATCO Power Canada Ltd. (Saskatoon): 650,455

With files from CBC's Jennifer Quesnel

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