In the tiny hamlet of Hairy Hill, Alberta, a highly energy-efficient grain-fed distillery does what it can to offset some of the greenhouse gas emissions spewed by the province\’s dirtier industries—mainly the tar sands.
The upstart company called Growing Power Hairy Hill turns grain, manure and household waste into liquid fuel and electricity while emitting essentially no greenhouse gases. It says it is Canada\’s first \”integrated biorefinery.\”
Hairy Hill is one small gear in Canada\’s carbon-control strategy as the nation struggles to rein in its soaring greenhouse gas emissions. And it is one among more than four dozen government-funded projects that officials hope will help persuade President Obama to approve the Keystone XL, the cross-border pipeline that has been immobilized for years as the Obama administration considers its environmental and climate consequences.
But despite its low carbon footprint, the emissions credits the plant earns under Alberta\’s complex carbon offsetting scheme are a drop in the bucket compared to what the Keystone would add to the atmosphere.