Canada's Oil Sands: A Delicate Dance of Regulators, Industry, the Environment and Economy
Dec 5th 2012 6:00AM
Updated Jan 15th 2013 7:49PM
The holy trinity for energy is cheap, reliable and clean, but science has yet to unlock a source that provides all three without limits. In the meantime, the challenge for energy producers, consumers and regulators is to negotiate tradeoffs between these ideals in order to find the most acceptable energy solutions for modern society. There are few places in the world where this delicate negotiation between environmental cleanliness, affordability and reliability is more pronounced than in Canada's oil sands producing region.
Knowledge of the oil sands resource dates back to the 1800's and some commercial extraction dates back as far as the 1960's, but it was not until around 2001 when commodity price increases and technology coincided to make oil sands development economically viable on a much larger scale.