Here at Oil Sands Fact Check, we’d like to wish Canada a very happy Canada Day! On the birthday of our neighbor and ally, it’s important to highlight the crucial relationship between our two nations – one that could lead to a mutual goal: North American energy security.
Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world – and the Keystone XL pipeline would safely and efficiently transport these resources to America while creating jobs and continuing to strengthen the trade relationship between our two countries. Canada is already the United States’ top supplier of imported oil, providing over 25 percent of our crude oil imports. With Keystone XL, the United States could import even more oil from Canada, replacing imports from unstable areas of the world and from other regions that have declined in recent years.
Let’s not forget that the International Energy Agency (IEA) recently found that North American oil production – particularly from oil sands – is sending “shock waves” through global markets, slashing U.S. imports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). As IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven put it, “North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world…A real game changer in every way.” IEA found that North American oil sands supply will grow by 3.9 million barrels per day from 2012 to 2018. It also found that North America will provide 40 percent of new energy supplies by 2018 through the development of oil sands, while contributions from OPEC will fall to 30 percent. Moreover, IEA states that North America will be “all but self-sufficient” in its energy needs by about 2035.
IEA isn’t alone in these forecasts: the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has predicted that oil production will more than double by 2030 primarily due to oil sands development – it will reach 6.7 million barrels a day by 2030, up from 3.2 million barrels a day in 2012.
That’s where Keystone XL comes in – the pipeline would help bring more domestic and Canadian oil to U.S. markets potentially replacing almost 90 percent of what the U.S. currently imports from Venezuela.
And it will do all this while increasing our economic security too. For every $1 we invest in Canada, 90 cents is returned by Canadians buying US goods and services – that’s more than double the return from investing in the Middle East. According to the State Department, Keystone XL will also create 42,100 American jobs during construction and will continue to be a job creator even after it’s built. The Canadian Energy Research Institute predicts that Keystone XL will create 117,000 new U.S. jobs over the next 15 years due to oil sands development linked to the project. Those huge job numbers come as no surprise considering that for every two jobs created to support Canada’s oil sands development, approximately one is created here at home.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful as Canada and America celebrate their respective Independence Days, we could look forward to the construction of Keystone XL, which would help us – as IEA put it – become “all but self-sufficient“?