Canada has plenty of oil. The United States needs plenty of oil. Sounds like a natural fit, doesn’t it? Unfortunately it’s not, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Canada’s powerhouse Alberta province exports 1.5 million barrels of crude daily, almost all to the United States. But most of that comes from oil sands, also known as bitumen. And that product is thick as sludge.
Turning it into usable oil requires hefty energy usage and produces plenty of carbon dioxide, thought to be a contributor to global warming. So environmentalists and powerful Democrats have united against importing any more of Alberta’s crude.
Indeed, U.S. government officials are undecided about a proposed expansion of a pipeline that could increase exports from Alberta to the U.S. by 100 percent.
The surge of gasoline prices to $4 a gallon several weeks ago brought currency to the oil-sands debate.
North America's dependence on foreign energy will likely drop over the next 20 years, despite rising consumption, according to a recent study by London-based think tank Chatham House. But that assumes the U.S. continues to suck up oil-sands production.
The gasoline crunch has made strange bedfellows among supporters of the White House’s proposal to increase fuel efficiency requirements to 60 miles per gallon by 2025.
“National security experts, business groups, Republicans and environmentalists all agree that … (goal) is not only achievable, it would provide significant cost-savings to consumer,” according to Automotivediscovery.com.
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