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Don Wharton, Vice-President of Sustainable Development at TransAlta, joined the Institute for a discussion on CCS public opinion polling, on 22 September 2011.
Mr. Wharton is responsible for leading TransAlta’s sustainability initiatives, including implementing TransAlta’s strategic approach to environmental policy, climate change, and managing its carbon offsets portfolio.
He has chemical engineering qualifications from the University of Calgary and has worked in the energy and environment fields for almost 30 years.
TransAlta is leading a consortium comprising Capital Power and Enbridge, to develop Project Pioneer, a retrofit of a newly built coal-based power plant nearby Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
In mid 2010, TransAlta established a baseline of public opinion on CCS in Alberta and Canada via extensive telephone polling activity. The polling, conducted by an independent polling organisation, on behalf of Project Pioneer and Shell’s Quest Project, asked Albertans and Canadians, their views on a range of social, environmental and climate change issues. This polling was repeated in July 2011 and the results, showing solid support for CCS, are very informative.
Mr. Wharton briefly explained the polling methodology, and then drilled down into the rich vein of information which emerged from the polling, and discussed how the results will inform and shape Pioneer’s strategy and approach.