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Can Carbon Capture Clean Up Canada’s Oil Sands?


Canada is betting that carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology that is fairly well understood but unproven at the scale needed to significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions, can reduce the environmental footprint associated with making fuel from oil sands—its fastest-growing source of greenhouse-gas emissions. (See “Alberta’s Oil Sands Heat Up.”)

If things go as planned, the country’s CCS effort will not only result in emissions cuts, which would start out small in 2015 and then grow into much larger ones over the coming decades—it will also be a first test of the type of large network of pipelines, capture facilities, and storage reservoirs that will be required for CCS to play a significant role in reducing emissions.

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