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Cold Lake is about to boom: Why that matters to millions of Canadians ahead of Alberta’s voting day

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Cold Lake but in the summertime the city, located 280 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, shines.“We’ve got a beautiful beach and a lot of people come up here to camp and to fish,” said Cold Lake mayor Craig Copeland.Over the next several years, thousands of people could be coming to the area of Alberta to work as well.The city has been home to a Royal Canadian Air Force based for decades — the military says 4 Wing Cold Lake is the busiest fighter base in Canada.People who live in Cold Lake either, for the most part, work at the military base or in oil and gas — but soon, Cold Lake could become major hub for clean energy as site of one of the largest carbon capture and storage facilities in the world.“It has the right geology,” Pathways Alliance president Kendall Dilling said. “Carbon capture and storage (CCS) relies on the proximity to the right storage and (the area south of Cold Lake) is arguably close to, if not the best, in the world.”The Pathways Alliance is made up of Canada’s six largest oilsands producers: Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc., ConocoPhillips Canada, Imperial Oil Ltd., MEG Energy Corp., and Suncor Energy Inc.The CCS project is the cornerstone of its plan to get to net zero by 2050.The Pathways Alliance intends to bring carbon dioxide emissions from each oilsands operation down a 400-kilometer pipeline to be built from the Fort McMurray area to south of Cold Lake.“This is a big project— $16.5 billion,” said Dilling.“We anticipate 25,000 to 35,000 people required for the construction phase, which will occur over several years and then several thousand permanent operation jobs at the end.”With a target to begin capturing a storing carbon by 2030, Dilling says it has hundreds of people.

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