Saskatchewan ratepayers are paying an “implicit” carbon tax of nearly C$60 per tonne to support the pricey Boundary Dam carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility in Estevan, Energy Minister Dustin Duncan said last week.
Duncan pointed to the payments in a bid to reinforce Premier Brad Wall’s opposition to a floor price on carbon in the pan-Canadian climate framework, beginning at $10 per tonne in 2018 and increasing to $50 in 2022.
“That’s a part of our message to the federal government,” Duncan told reporters. “We may not explicitly have a carbon price in Saskatchewan, but implicitly the people of Saskatchewan are paying for the price of mitigating carbon, and that should be recognized.”
Boundary Dam has come under fire as a costly fossil fuel subsidy, and the Regina Leader Post was quick to pounce on Duncan’s comment that “ratepayers are implicitly paying that price” for the $1.5-billion project.
“That is evident for anyone who has seen the cost of his or her power bill going up, as SaskPower increases its rates to, in part, fund the megaproject,” the paper notes, adding that the province could yet “be spending more money to expand its carbon capture technology” to bring its emissions in line with federal coal regulations.
“It’s a very expensive carbon tax, the carbon capture project,” NDP MLA Cathy Sproule said last week