A new home for C02 beneath your feet

CO2 skywriting


Scott Jagow: A Canadian company said yesterday it plans to build a pipeline underground that can pump millions of tons of C02 a year. The idea behind this is to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions underground. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.

Sam Eaton: The 150 mile pipeline through central Alberta would pump CO2 to old oil fields. Once there, the gas could be permanently injected into the ground as a way to squeeze out any remaining oil.

It's a technique already in use. But Susan Cole, whose company Enhance Energy is building the pipeline, says this one's different.

Susan Cole: Most of the projects that are in existence in the world today use a naturally occurring CO2, whereas we're using an industrial source of CO2.

That source is primarily an oil sands processing plant. Cole says the pipeline could eventually pump nine million tons of CO2 underground annually -- the same as removing about a million and a half cars from the road.

But Greenpeace Canada's Mike Hudema says that's only part of the story.

Mike Hudema: What's going on in Alberta is a huge greenwash attempt.

Hudema says Canada's vast oil sands operation generates so much CO2 that it will soon eclipse the pipeline's projected savings by a factor of 10.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.


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