Canada to U.S. on Oil Sands: Use 'Em or Lose 'Em

Donal Fagan
by Donal Fagan

According to the National Post. the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 restricts Americans from importing alternative fuels if making them generates more greenhouse gases than conventional refining. That would certainly seem to apply to fuel from Alberta's tar sands (a.k.a. "oil sands"). To make the change to petroleum, the Canadian bitumen must be mechanically mined, then intensely heated. Yes, well, Canadian Ambassador Michael Wilson (currently blamed for the NAFTA leaks in the Obama-Clinton race) argues that the Act shouldn't include Alberta's million barrels a day output. In a letter to US officials, Mr. Wilson warned that compromising the tar sands– a key supply of oil to U.S. naval fleets– might have "unintended consequences" for both countries. Meanwhile, after five days of record oil prices, gas prices have risen to $5.20 a gallon in California and even £5 a gallon (110.9p per litre) on UK motorways.

Donal Fagan
Donal Fagan

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  • Johnny ro Johnny ro on Mar 12, 2008

    What hurts is American western oil shale is also what I am banking on to keep driving long term. Does this mean we will leave that 100 billion barrels in ground. And drive on food so third worlders can starve. Don't ask me for quote on the barrels quote. Its prob higher not lower. Plus my audi wont run on E85.

  • Wheatridger Wheatridger on Mar 13, 2008

    That western oil shale, located about 300 miles due west of where I sit, has another price to it that shouldn't be forgotten. For the few barrels of oil shale that have been yet produced, its taken about 10 times as much water to produce it. Future technology may address this problem, but the fact remains- Western Colorado's oil shale beds lie in arid terrain, where water is more precious than oil. These lands are drained by the Colorado River, and every drop is claimed. Will Phoenix, LA and Las Vegas give up their water rights to keep their tanks full? I doubt it.

  • George Labrador George Labrador on Mar 13, 2008

    Prior Tory and Liberal governments have given away Canada's right to our own resource, ie via NAFTA! The size of the Tar sands area is about the size of the State of Florida, all production heads to the uSA via Pipeline, we are hewers of wood and Oil and provinders of Water to the USA! so when this runs out you will have to look elsewhere for Oil.

  • I6 I6 on Mar 13, 2008
    Canadian Ambassador Michael Wilson (currently blamed for the NAFTA leaks in the Obama-Clinton race) In point of fact, the current prime suspect in that NAFTA leak is the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, Ian Brodie.