US Ambassador to Canada Says Oil Sands Necessary for US
15 February 2010
Toronto Star. In an interview with the Toronto Star, US Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson said that if the US is looking for “long-term safe and secure sources of energy, Canada, and therefore the oil sands, need to be part of it.”
Jacobson praised the “significant progress” being made in cleaning up the environmental impact of the oil sands, though he stressed that more needs to be done.
Last week, Whole Foods Market announced a commitment to stop buying transportation fuel linked to the oil sands. Bed Bath & Beyond also released a new policy encouraging transportation providers to avoid high impact fuels such as those from refineries using oil sands.
But Jacobson says he’s been learning a lot about American dependence on Canadian oil since he arrived to take up his post here last fall...It all means the United States simply can’t afford to demonize the oil sands, Jacobson says.
Last August, the US State Department issued a Presidential Permit to Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership to enable construction of the Alberta Clipper pipeline for the transport of crude oil from the Canadian oil sands to US refineries. (Earlier post.)
The 1,000-mile/1,607-km pipeline will run from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin. Construction in the United States will consist of two components that would have independent utility: the Alberta Clipper Pipeline itself and the Southern Lights Diluent Pipeline. The 36-inch Alberta Clipper Pipeline will carry up to 450,000 barrels of oil sands crude per day—with ultimate capacity of up to 800,000 bpd available—from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Canada to refineries in the US.
I really don't think it is wise for the US to announce that we're dependent on another country for energy, even if it is true, and even if it is a country as friendly as Canada. Maybe Canada has other ideas for its oil sands. Maybe we should find our own energy rather than being dependent on the Middle East or Canada or Nigeria or Venezuela or Russia or Norway for oil or Bolivia for lithium or wherever for whatever.
Posted by: Peter9909 | 15 February 2010 at 09:03 AM
USA has always purchased goods and commodities from outside the country when it is either essential or more economical to do so. It is inherent to the free market lowest cost, higher profit, maximum consumption principles.
That is why almost 70% of fossil liquid fuel is imported (essential to keep the economy and gas guzzlers going).
That is also why so much manufactured goods are imported from China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan etc. (to maximize profits while offering more lower cost goods for heavy consumption)
This will not change as long as the founding principles of free market are in place.
Posted by: HarveyD | 15 February 2010 at 09:20 AM
In reality the oil sands are important to US big oil. As long as they can keep gas cheap, they can continue their energy monopoly. The US has all the technology and manufacturing ability to gain energy independence, and could easily be paid for by the huge sums of money we use to buy foreign oil. Sure it would burt the oil industry, why do you think they fight it tooth and nail?
Posted by: Eletruk | 15 February 2010 at 09:27 AM
HarveyD: There is a strategic interest in being energy independent beyond economics. We need energy. We don't need $20 DVD players from China. I have no problem with us being dependent on other countries for consumer electronics, but energy is completely different.
Posted by: Peter9909 | 15 February 2010 at 09:49 AM
In reality the oil sands are important to US big oil.
LOL!!! I love it when the rabid leftists post!
In reality the oil sands are important to US Big Government. Big Government makes more per gallon of gas than Big Oil. And, Big Government doesn't do any work for the outrageous amounts of money (which it then gives to its preferred peoples of choice).
Posted by: The Goracle | 15 February 2010 at 09:53 AM
I really wish the US gov. makes more per gallon of gas. The gasoline price now is still too low, and the US government budget deficits now, and for the foreseeable future, are far too high and unsustainable!
I agree with Whole Foods Market and BBB position. Environmental principles first, profits second.
Posted by: Roger Pham | 15 February 2010 at 11:36 AM
Advising that we would be better off with more artificially higher prices on Oil, sounds like the Shiek who is advising his men to volunteer to be Eunuchs.
So they could guard his hareem...
Posted by: Stan Peterson | 15 February 2010 at 11:46 AM
Goracle, the government can tax, or not tax, whatever it chooses to. Oil companies can only make money off of oil. (Actually, they could make money off anything they choose, as well, just most of them are too stubborn to invest in alternative energy).
And yes, the government does do work for the money it takes in. Who paved that road that you're driving on? Who paid for that bridge that you are crossing (and if we paid enough, with any luck, it won't fall down while you are driving over it). Your tax dollars at work.
Posted by: Peter9909 | 15 February 2010 at 12:15 PM
(essential to keep the economy and gas guzzlers going)
We can have an expanding economy without gas guzzling but when the previous administration linked the two as "our way of life" then people equate them.
The only truly prosperous economy is one where we are less dependent on imported oil. Anything else and we are just kidding ourselves and getting deeper into trouble.
Posted by: SJC | 15 February 2010 at 12:45 PM
Who paved that road that you're driving on?
A private contractor. You really think that government owned vehicles and government employees pave roads? Wow... less bright than I imagined.
Oil companies can only make money off of oil.
Another false statement. Ignorance is the power that drives leftist opinion. Some of the largest alternative energy research and development projects are done Big Oil. A simple Internet search will show this to you. Then you can stop hating Big Oil so much, right?
Posted by: The Goracle | 15 February 2010 at 01:55 PM
G, you're the ignorant one here. Do you think the private contractors went out and invested in paving the road, took out a loan, raised venture capital, in the hopes of making money off of the road by tolls or selling advertisement space on it? No, the government paid the contractor to pave the road. Yes, there are some examples out there of truly privately owned roads, but the vast majority of roads are paid with tax money. Who does the actual paving is irrelevant.
Great, so some oil companies do invest in alternative energy. Then why don't they just do that and stop whining about the taxing and regulation of oil? They have tons of R&D money at their disposal. They should be able to read the writing on the wall and shift from old style energy to sustainable energy without missing a beat. Some of them are. That's great. The others may go out of business. That's life. But there's no reason that they should.
Posted by: Peter9909 | 15 February 2010 at 02:16 PM
Private contractors profited from the public investment. This is why you can not take the money spent and divide it by the jobs created and come up with a cost per job. The contractors take more than one half right off the top to begin with.
Oil companies spend 100 times more on exploration for oil than they do for any alternatives. It is costing more for every barrel produced to get what they are getting. It is harder to find and costs more to produce. You would think that they would spend more than 1% of profits on alternatives, but so far NO.
Posted by: SJC | 15 February 2010 at 02:23 PM
"Who paved that road that you're driving on? A private contractor.."
That should interest the many thousands (4,000 NYC alone) of various Department of Transportation employees in the big yellow trucks paving, maintaining, salting, removing snow etc from America's highways.
"Oil companies can only make money off of oil. Another false statement..you can stop hating Big Oil so much, right?"
They make money off many things besides oil, like monopolies, kickbacks, chemicals, etc.
Actually, having created pollution leading to untold deaths and being repeat criminals convicted under numerous laws beginning with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act etc might merit some dislike.
Posted by: kelly | 15 February 2010 at 03:03 PM
"They should be able to read the writing on the wall and shift from old style energy to sustainable energy without missing a beat. Some of them are. That's great. The others may go out of business. That's life."
I agree. But of course they have huge refinery infrastructure which they'd rather not invest in scrapping or rehabbing for biofuel. Shell is getting into some bigger JVs for ethanol which is a start.
But more should be done to expand investment in algal oil and ethanol. One way to encourage that is to legislate lower taxes on biofuels and provide a de-escalating subsidy as volume grows. Another is for every energy concerned person to promote electrification - demonstrating that energy independence is a strategic concern.
Oil sands still demands US import foreign oil. IF Canada also grew their NG exports and manufactured a home CHP unit for residences - they could improve profits, and help offload grid demand. This would leave oil in the sands for future use and help the US convert old coal to NG power plants.
As for taxes, government taxes oil after it gets to the pump. They perform no work to obtain the oil. They then SPEND the taxes on road build & repair. Difference.
Posted by: sulleny | 15 February 2010 at 03:13 PM
Might as well take the NG required to make oil from tar sands and make methanol to run half the cars on M85.
Posted by: SJC | 15 February 2010 at 05:32 PM
The bush administration and mow the Obama administration think we need oil.
That's 2 for 2.
Shhh, don't let Canada know we need oil.
Are you serious ?
Posted by: ToppaTom | 15 February 2010 at 09:39 PM
Speaking of Oh-bama - he just announced 8B guarantees to break ground on the first nuke in 30 years. He's stumping for a broad portfolio of energy solutions renewables and "clean coal" leading to full energy independence.
The right way to do IMO.
Posted by: sulleny | 16 February 2010 at 02:48 PM
How about copying that California doc who claimed he was making cheap bio-fuel from the fat sucked out of his lipo patients? Can we go that route? Suck out body fat and render it to usable gasoline? I even have a slogan - "Lose Your Gut and Up Your Intake!"
I think it's workable. Even got some tubbos in Illinois I could contribute to jump start the cause...
Posted by: sheckyvegas | 16 February 2010 at 03:06 PM
Animal fats are an excellent source of lipid feed stock. In some cases with customer consent - you could throw the whole carcass in to the grinder.
Recall that Soylent Green is...
Posted by: sulleny | 16 February 2010 at 05:51 PM