In spite of the recession, it appears the federal government has a good deal of money to spread around for research into greenhouse gas emissions.
A total of $140 million has been awarded to eight energy companies, six in Alberta and two in Saskatchewan, to develop technology known as carbon capture and storage.
"Of all the possible solutions on the horizon," said federal Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt, "there are none that offer as much potential to reduce emissions as carbon capture and storage."
The technique involves isolating carbon dioxide from oil and gas production, pipe-lining it to specialized wellheads, and then forcing it into storage two and a half kilometers underground.
Environmental groups disagree, however, with the federal plan to give the research money to energy companies. The Alberta Council for Environmental Education has released a poll which says about 80 per cent of Albertans concurs with that view.
But Raitt says the best way to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control will be a combined effort involving all levels of government, and the oil and gas companies.