Canada, Alberta to Study Greenhouse Gas Capture
CALGARY, Alberta -- A new task force funded by the Canadian government and the province of Alberta will study ways to capture and store greenhouse gases emitted by the province's massive oil sands projects, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday.
The task force will look at methods of capturing carbon dioxide emitted by the oil sands and other big industries, then pumping it underground into aging oil fields, where it can help increase output.
"We may be able to collect (carbon dioxide) from our oil sands, our coal-fired electrical plants and other industrial emitters and pump it deep underground, where it will remain for eternity," Harper said at a news conference in the provincial capital, Edmonton.
Some media reports had said the two governments were considering funding for a multimillion-dollar pipeline to carry the carbon dioxide to oil fields in the south. However Harper said that is just one of the plans the group will look at.
The task force will be headed by Steven Snyder, chief executive of TransAlta Corp., a Calgary-based power company that operates coal-fired plants in Alberta and elsewhere.
Harper said the group will look at the "economic, technical and regulatory hurdles that lie in the road of large-scale implementation of carbon capture and storage."
Alberta's oil sands projects are considered one of the country's largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions, and production from the region is expected to triple over the next decade.
The Alberta government introduced a bill on Thursday that would force large scale carbon dioxide emitters to cut their emissions intensity -- the amount of the gas created per barrel of output -- by 12 percent beginning this year.
The task force is being asked to issue a report by November.