By Aaron Wherry - Friday, February 1, 2013 - 0 Comments
Bloomberg looks at support within the oil industry for a carbon tax.
The contradiction of an industry seeking a new tax on itself has emerged in energy-rich Canada because producers are concerned the crude they process from tar-like sands will be barred from foreign markets for releasing more carbon in its production than competing fossil fuels.
Oil companies operating in Canada such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Total SA (FP) of France and Canada’s Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE) plan to convert billions of barrels of the sticky bitumen into diesel and gasoline. Under foreign and domestic pressure, they now see a greenhouse-gas levy helping to provide access to markets and more predictable costs for Canada’s biggest export industry, which shipped C$68 billion ($68 billion) of oil in 2011.
By Colby Cosh - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 11:40 AM - 1 Comment
A small B.C. company hopes to develop a cheaper way of creating nuclear fusion—with oil sands backing
General Fusion Inc. of Burnaby, B.C., may look like a sophisticated nuclear research company. It’s also the manifestation of a mid-life crisis. A decade ago, physicist Michel Laberge and engineer-executive Doug Richardson were working together at another B.C. firm making software for print designers. When Laberge turned 40 he came to a realization, says Richardson: “[Michel] didn’t want to help cut down forests anymore.”
Today Laberge is the president and chief technology officer—with Richardson as CEO—of a small company that hopes to become the first to get more energy out of a man-made experimental nuclear fusion reaction than it puts in. General Fusion has raised more than $33 million to date from a mix of government eco-research programs and private investors, including Amazon.com CEO-founder Jeff Bezos.
Among the partners, one stands out as especially counterintuitive: this summer the company received funding from Calgary-based oil sands company Cenovus. In backing fusion research, Cenovus is supporting what could become an alternative to its own business, if fusion generation can ever shed its long-standing pie-in-the-sky status. “For us, the investment isn’t a large amount,” says Dave Hassan, who oversees the Cenovus eco- fund. “For a small research company with cash requirements it’s big.” Fusion is a long shot, Hassan concedes, “but it’s a game changer if it works—carbon-free energy, essentially, forever.”