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Australian Federal House of Representative Standing Committee on Science and Innovation proposes subsidies to make coal CO2 dumps make money

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

More funding, more funding, rigorous regulation, indirect funding and more regulation were the five recommendations presented by the Federal House of Representative’s Standing Committee on Science and Innovation’s report titled Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration. Funding for CSIRO: In its first recommendation on carbon capture and storage: “Recommendation 1 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government provide funding to the CSIRO to progress research being conducted through the CO2CRC to assess the storage potential for permanent CO2 geosequestration in sedimentary basins in New South Wales, particularly the off-shore Sydney Basin, and the economic viability of these sites.”

Funds to show how: Regarding Australian CCS demonstration projects, the committee made “Recommendation 2 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government fund one or more large-scale projects which will demonstrate the operation and integration of the CCS — capture, transportation and sequestration and monitoring. The Government’s assessment of which project(s) will receive funding will be based on a competitive tender process.”

Covering risk: The environmental benefits and risks of CCS and public perception of them led to: “Recommendation 3 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government implement a rigorous regulatory environmental risk mitigation framework for CCS which covers:

• Criteria for CCS site selection and an assessment of the environmental impact at selected sites;

• Assessment of the risk of abrupt or gradual leakage, and appropriate response strategies; and

• Requirements for long-term site monitoring and reporting.”

Financial incentives: On the economic benefits and costs of CCS the committee made “Recommendation 4 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, as part of its broader fiscal response to climate change, employ financial incentives, both direct and tax based, in an effort to encourage science and industry to continue developing and testing CCS technology.”

Liability spread over three phases: Turning to the legislative and regulatory framework, the committee offered “Recommendation 5 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, following industry consultation, develop legislation to define the financial liability and ongoing monitoring responsibilities at a geosequestration site. The Committee recommends that financial liability and site responsibility should consist of three phases:

• Full financial liability and responsibility for site safety and monitoring should rest with industry operators for the injection phase and a subsequent length of time (this time to be determined by the Australian Government subject to specific site risk analysis);

• Following the above specified time, shared financial liability and responsibility for site safety and monitoring should rest equally with industry operators and state, territory and Australian governments in the longer term. The exact length of this shared responsibility and liability phase should be determined by the governments subject to specific site risk analysis; and

• Following the determined phase of shared liability and responsibility, full financial liability and responsibility for site safety and monitoring should be transferred to the two spheres of government in perpetuity.”

Reference: Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration. House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Science and Innovation, August 2007, Canberra. For Media comment: contact the Committee Chair, Mr Petro Georgiou MP. Phone (02) 6277 4419 or the Deputy Chair, Mr Harry Quick MP. Phone: (02) 6277 4304. For information: contact the Committee Secretary. Phone: (02) 6277 4150. Issued by: Liaison and Projects Office, House of Representatives. Phone: (02) 6277 2392. Copies of the report can be obtained from the website:
http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/scin/geosequestration/index.htm

Erisk Net, 13/8/2007

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