Billions of dollars are being spent on technology that reduces emissions in the oilsands. A NASA scientist believes Carbon Capture and Storage is too expensive and won't work. And our energy minister agrees with the scientist, to a certain extent.

Back in 2008, Alberta's energy minister was Mel Knight. At that time, he spoke about the technology known as Carbon Capture and Storage or CCS, which was the province's key strategy to keep greenhouse gases in check. The goal was to cut an estimated 200 million tonnes.

But today, the current Energy Minister Ron Liepert admits the strategy is questionable.

"Today there are real questions about whether it will ever be economically feasible."

NASA's top scientist is firm on the fact that CCS won't work.

"It simply doesn't make economic sense to try to extract tar sands and capture the's just way too expensive," said Dr. James Hansen.

Hansen's comments were made at hearing Tuesday where he spoke against an application made by energy company Total for a new mine. The company won't immediately use CCS but says it is making the project "CCS ready".

"In fact, we're building space into our site plans so that we can put the equipment in once it's proven," said Gary Houston, VP of Total E & P Canada.

Liepert admits CCS will probably be too costly until a continent-wide carbon tax is implemented to make polluting just as costly.

"There's no question that today it's not economically viable but I don't think you can take what's happening today and say that's what it's going to be for all time," said Liepert.

With files from Bill Fortier