Australian taxpayers to carry burden of BP’s CO2 dumps

Unclear handover period: Georgiou asked: "Is that time bound?" Espie said: "There will be a time associated with that, perhaps—a handover period, maybe as short as a couple of years".

BP angling into near-zero-emissions position: Georgiou asked: "How do you see your balance of interests in the energy area? Do you have some sense of how they are going to evolve, one against the other, in terms of balances? You have just spun out a new area. Do you have any insight into how you think they are going to weigh against one another?" Espie said: "As a company, I think we are certainly of the belief that clean energy, near-zero-emissions energy, is something that is going to become increasingly important. Formation of alternative energy is a deliberate move to test the timescales over which this is likely to be deployed and to position ourselves. So, yes, we expect near-zero-emissions power of various sorts to become increasingly important as we go forward".

Climate change scepticism evaporating: Dr Espie added: "We are seeing an extremely fast movement in perceptions both from governmental policymakers and from the public. I think the general public are becoming increasingly aware of the issues. We are starting to get some feedback through into the policy arena. Over the last one to two years we have seen substantial movement in a number of places around the world that were previously expressing degrees of scepticism around the climate issue".

BP wants public and regulatory framework: Espie said: "There are two things which policymakers can provide. One is the public framework for supporting these sorts of projects. That does not have to be technology specific. It can be a general low carbon energy support mechanism. The other one is around the regulatory framework. This is an area in which Australia is right in the lead position. We have certainly been interacting with the DITR people on the development of that framework and we are very supportive of their actions".

Reference: Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives Standing Committee on Science and Innovation, Re: Geosequestration technology, Monday, 30 October 2006, Canberra The internet address is: http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard To search the parliamentary database, go to: http://www.aph.gov.au

Erisk Net, 24/2/2007

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