Saturday, 15 February 2014: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Columbus IJ (Hyatt Regency Chicago)Economic growth in Canada has historically been enhanced by the increased export of crude oil to the United States. Awareness of the economic potential and importance of Canada’s enormous oil sands resources have compelled interested parties to initiate infrastructure development plans in both Canada and the U.S. in recent years, with the proposed 1,100-mile long Keystone XL pipeline as an example. The intensified oil sands mining operations in Canada, on the other hand, have raised concerns among environmentalists who hold that these activities would lead to a surge of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Further, public sensitivity following the recent oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has rendered any crude-oil related economic activity a challenging endeavor. Impact of an ongoing public debate has been felt in both nations’ economic and political circles. The pursuit of technical developments in fields related to Canada’s oil sands has been overshadowed by a debate in which everyone, from people living in the most remote regions of Canada and the U.S. to the politicians and lawmakers at all levels of the governments, has an opinion. This symposium examines and explores innovations in genetic engineering, applicable to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, as well as environmental, economic, and geopolitical dimensions of Canada’s oil sands operations.
Amir Mokhtari Fard, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology