It might come as a surprise that the country with the largest oil reserves is not Saudi Arabia, Iran or Venezuela, but Canada.
Yet America’s No. 1 trading partner is concerned that the U.S. doesn’t want its oil.
Canada has an estimated 1.6 trillion barrels of oil on its territory. Saudi Arabia has an estimated 270 billion barrels. But much of Canada’s oil is locked in tough-to-excavate tar sands in the province of Alberta.
Canada’s government recently sent U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates a letter warning that it might not be able to sell the U.S. any of the oil America needs for national defense, according to the Financial Times of London.
The reason: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was passed with “great gusto and self-righteousness by the Democratic Congress,” an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) observes.
Under the Act, tar sands are considered an alternative fuel, and the law requires oil sold to the U.S. government from alternative sources to emit fewer greenhouse gases than oil produced from conventional sources.
And estimates indicate that removing the coagulated oil found in tar sands produces up to five times the amount of greenhouse gas as pumping from a conventional well.
“Classifying the oil sands as a nonconventional fuel would unnecessarily complicate the integrated Canada-U.S. energy relationship,” said Tristan Landry, a spokesman for Canada’s embassy in Washington.
IBD notes: “Here we sit, a neighbor of the country with the world’s largest oil supplies, and we’re going to tell them no thanks? This is the equivalent of legislative malpractice.
“But you’ll have to get used to that if, as many expect, we elect a Democratic president and enlarge the Democrats’ hold on the two houses of Congress.”
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