Last week, the Premier continued with his grandstanding and twitter tantrums. While other premiers negotiated benefits for their own provinces, Brad Wall threw away Saskatchewan’s voice and what was left of the Sask. Party’s credibility on the national stage. This week, more issues were revealed about the growing problems and costs of the Sask. Party’s $1.5 billion carbon capture scheme.
“The Sask. Party government continues to arrogantly brag about their Carbon Capture project at Boundary Dam, pretending it is somehow a solution for all of their problems but it keeps failing and the costs keep going up,” said Environment and SaskPower Critic Cathy Sproule. “Saskatchewan ratepayers have seen rate hike after rate hike after rate hike.”
This year, the extreme cold weather has meant that families are using power in record amounts but, instead of getting support from the Sask. Party, in the New Year, Saskatchewan people will be facing another increase in the rates. That is after bills already went up 5 per cent once this year, and 5 per cent last year as well.
At a meeting of the Standing Committee on Crown and Central Agencies, more technical problems with the project were outlined. Specifically, issues with the amine solution, which is central to the chemistry of capturing carbon, cost Saskatchewan people $18.5 million this last year, and $17 million the year before. To make matters worse, it is expected to cost over $20 million to address these issues in the upcoming year, which is four times what was budgeted. On top of technical setbacks, Saskatchewan people had to pay $1.2 million in penalties because not enough carbon dioxide was captured and delivered to the buyer. The president and CEO of SaskPower, even mused about having to shut down the plant more often in the future.
“This has been a costly boondoggle from the start, and this job-killing carbon capture tax will only continue to cost Saskatchewan ratepayers,” Sproule said. “It has failed as a means of addressing climate change, it costs way more than what it brings in and, on top of that, neither the government nor anyone in Saskatchewan owns the technology. The only thing that Saskatchewan people are getting out of it is the right to pay the bill.”