The Sask. Party government’s carbon capture project performed worse throughout 2015 than the year before, and an internal operations chart contradicts Brad Wall's statements – showing the Sask. Party still isn't coming clean.
According to SaskPower’s operations chart for the $1.5 billion Boundary Dam carbon capture plant, its peak performance – when it captured just 78 per cent of total daily carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – was achieved last November. Throughout 2015 it has struggled to capture 55 per cent of daily emissions. Numbers languishing around 40 per cent, and days and weeks at a time during which it captured no CO2 at all, were common, dragging down the already dismal overall capture rate.Read more
The Sask. Party opposed a motion Thursday to allow a committee of the legislature to examine its carbon capture project – insisting the details stay secret even as millions of dollars in penalties and losses pile up.
The NDP’s Cathy Sproule pushed for an emergency motion Thursday for the legislature’s Crown and Central Agencies committee to meet urgently. Prompting the motion was a week of disturbing revelations. The Sask. Party’s carbon capture experiment is performing at only about 40 per cent capacity; a $12-million penalty has already been paid to an Alberta oil company as a result of a failure to deliver enough CO2; and Brad Wall and his inner circle knew of major problems and design failures, but hid them while falsely claiming the experiment was a complete success.
“The Sask. Party hasn’t been honest with people on this project, and they got caught,” said Sproule. “It’s time to come clean, put all the facts on the table, and start working urgently on a go-forward plan to salvage as much as we can.Read more
While the Sask. Party’s billion-dollar carbon capture experiment was sputtering through failures and flaws, operating at only about 40 per cent of targeted capacity, Brad Wall and his government were working hard to cover up the disappointing reality.
“Sask, we’re fully operational & making history,” Wall tweeted on Oct. 1, 2014, in contradiction to the actual 40 per cent capacity reached and the penalties already piling up.
“CCS performance data exceeding expectations,” read a headline on a SaskPower news release, which also boasted on Feb. 11, 2015 that the project “has the capacity to capture up to one million tonnes of CO2 in 2015 and is on target to meet that goal.”
On Aug. 26, 2015, Wall toured American politicians through the carbon capture plant. On that day, referring to coal power generation, he said: “We have cleaned it up. At this facility operating right now, we have energy being produced from coal that is three times cleaner than natural gas, which is significant. We are capturing 90 per cent of the CO2 and the CO2 has a 99 per cent purity so we can turn around and market that to energy companies.”
Broten said that misleading information is problematic.Read more
2014 penalty jumped millions of dollars in just weeks
Just a day after the NDP revealed that serious problems with the Sask. Party’s carbon capture experiment cost the province a $12 million penalty, new internal documents show that penalty climbed fast – jumping upwards of $3 million in just one week in 2014.
“The government claims we’re already in for a $5-million to $6-million penalty, plus millions in lost revenue, for 2015 because their billion-dollar experiment isn’t working properly,” said Cathy Sproule, the NDP’s SaskPower critic. “But considering how fast last year’s penalty appeared to rise, Saskatchewan families need to know what we’re paying this year – because sadly, now we’re all bracing for more power rate hikes by the Sask. Party.”
The Sask. Party is cutting more than 3,420 surgeries this year, according to an admission the government made Monday.
Speaking to media about millions of dollars the Sask. Party cut from the surgeries budget this year, Health Minister Dustin Duncan said the province will do “close to” 86,000 surgeries in the current budget year. That’s compared to the 89,420 surgeries performed province-wide last year.
“Cutting back on surgeries means thousands of people will wait longer this year. They’ll be in pain longer, be frustrated longer and many will be off work longer,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten.
“Wait times have been going in the wrong direction fast since the budget cut in March. With all the waste in health care in Saskatchewan, I simply can’t understand why Mr. Wall decided to cut funding for surgeries. That doesn’t match my priorities, and it doesn’t match the priorities of Saskatchewan patients and families.”Read more