President Obama Finally Acknowledges Canada Would be a Good Partner for Reliable Oil

March 31, 2011

In his speech Wednesday on U.S. energy independence, President Obama finally acknowledged that Canada might be a valuable source of oil, stating, "And when it comes to oil we import from other nations, we can partner with neighbors like Canada, Mexico, and Brazil"

Unfortunately, the President's own administration continues to block efforts to extend the Keystone Pipeline that would link Canadian oil to U.S. refineries. The Keystone XL Pipeline would give the United States access to the second largest oil reserves in the world; according to a recent U.S. Department of Energy study, it has "the potential to very substantially reduce U.S. dependency on non-Canadian foreign oil, including from the Middle East."  Such a partnership with Canada would help protect the United States from supply disruptions and price spikes from unforeseen global events and aggressive actions by hostile regimes. 

Approval of the Keystone Pipeline extension languishes for unexplained reasons at the State Department, stalling construction on this multi-billion dollar project that would significantly lessen U.S. dependence on Middle East imports, create thousands of American jobs, and strengthen our ties to a trusted ally. 

Not only are Canadian oil imports more stable and reliable than other foreign energy sources, they are also cheaper.  Because Canada is our largest trading partner, for every American dollar spent on products from Canada, including oil, 91 cents is returned to the American economy.

If the President is serious about improving our nation's energy security, he can no longer ignore our friendly neighbors to the north. Canadian oil sands will provide us with the safe and secure alternative we need in order to significantly reduce our dependence on risky foreign regimes.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), who strongly supports construction of the pipeline, urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to approve the project last November.  Despite soaring unemployment and spiking oil prices, the project remains stalled.

###