COSIA Steps Up Effort to Brand Tar Sands/Oil Sands as Cleantech Innovator
With a new CEO set to take over August 6, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is about to double down on its effort to brand the tar sands/oil sands industry as a clean technology leader.
“We have a great track record of cleantech,” said Wes Jickling, currently the CEO of Innovation Saskatchewan and deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs. “We have a great track record of environmental stewardship and responsible resource development, and my view is that COSIA is kind of the flag-bearer of that right now for Canada.”
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“My role at Innovation Saskatchewan has really been a job of bringing people together, listening to what they need, coming up with pretty cost-effective and interesting programs that give people what they need to build tech companies, solve problems with technology,” he added in an interview with industry newsletter JWN Energy. “I think what really is attractive for me about COSIA is just how good they are at it. It’s really quite remarkable what these companies have been able to do together and the results that they can show.”
Those results add up to a portfolio of projects since 2012 that have delivered more than 1,000 technologies valued at more than $1.4 billion, “which has resulted in meaningful progress to reduce impacts to water, air, and land,” COSIA says.The story makes no mention of the 2,800 years it could reportedly take to clean up Alberta’s abandoned oil wells, the C$260-billion price tag Alberta’s Energy Regulator attaches to the work, or the sense that toxic releases from the industry’s tailing ponds are now “inevitable”—and certainly not the greenhouse gas emissions that result when end users get their hands on the industry’s product.