One of the things bitumen is good for producing is carbon fibre. Because it's lighter than steel, carbon fibre is used in many electric vehicles. Because the world is warming and the future of fossil fuels are precarious, electric vehicles are becoming more popular. Could this cycle somehow lead to a new line of business for companies that have employed thousands of workers in Alberta's oil sands?
Well, maybe. There's a long ways to go, but the potential is there—and it's innovative projects like this that will help the province thrive even as the world changes around it. The question now is if there's enough political will to go chasing these solutions on a large scale?
GUEST: Chris Turner, energy journalist, author of The Patch: The People, Pipelines and Politics of the Oil Sands