News Stories

Tiny Bubbles

Getting rid of CO2 in the atmosphere by capturing it and burying it in the ground sounds like a good idea, but a Canadian farm couple whose land lies over the world's largest carbon capture and storage project says greenhouse gases seeping up from the soil are killing animals and sending groundwater foaming to the surface like soda pop. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising 6,000 tons of the gas is injected underground every day by the Canadian energy company Cenovus, which (to its credit) is doing this to try to fight climate change.

Cameron and Jane Kerr own nine quarter-sections of land above the Weyburn oilfield in eastern Saskatchewan. Six years ago, they began noticing algae blooms, clots of foam and multicolored scum in two ponds at the bottom of a gravel quarry on their land. Sometimes the ponds even bubbled as if it was carbonated. Small animals, such as cats, rabbits and goats, were often found dead nearby. It kept them up at night. The Canadian Press quotes Jane as saying, "At night we could hear this sort of bang like a cannon going off. We'd go out and check the gravel pit and, in the walls, it (had) blown a hole in the side and there would be all this foaming coming out of this hole." The company denies there's a problem--meanwhile, the Kerrs have moved.

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