Posted September 16, 2009
This week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit the United States, and high on the agenda in discussions with President Obama should be our country's energy partnership with Canada.
The prime minister's visit underscores the importance of developing more of North America's oil and natural gas. Even with additional alternative energy, continued development of oil and natural gas is of utmost importance to both Canada and the United States as these resources will continue to drive our economies and provide employment for millions. Canada's ample resources--including its oil sands--will help meet our future demand.
With this in mind, U.S. refiners are investing huge sums to expand and upgrade plants to make more fuel from Canadian oil sands while subject to strict federal, state and local environmental regulations. Pipeline companies are investing in new infrastructure to transport the oil into the United States. These expansion and upgrade projects will create more than 10,000 new construction jobs, an additional 500 permanent full-time refinery positions, and additional tax revenue and other economic benefits to their local communities.
Canadian and U.S. companies are also making the necessary investments to meet stringent environmental and other regulatory requirements to offset the impacts of increased oil sands production and processing. On a life cycle (or well to wheels) basis, oil derived from Canadian oil sands is comparable with other crudes refined in the United States.
Canada plays a vital role in our country's energy and economic security as our number one supplier of imported oil and natural gas. Its oil resources are vast--second only to Saudi Arabia's--and will continue to play an increasingly important role in our energy future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.