Canadian oil exported to the U.S. is drawn from oil sands using extraction processes which produce more carbon emissions than is typical when extracting crude oil.
Recently, Senator Barack Obama and a group of Democratic mayors railed against America's importation of Canadian oil.
They've drawn a response in the form of an editorial by Canada's National Post. Extracts from the NP's editorial follow with my comments below the star line.
The NP begins - - -
Big-city U. S. mayors and presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who joined the parade this week of ill-informed, U. S. anti-oil sands policies, should be careful what they wish for.
While the aim is undoubtedly to pander to the electorate in an election year charged with oil and climate-change debate, what they are stoking is an increasingly angry Canadian energy industry that is seriously looking at non-U. S. markets for its oil.
Here's what Rick George, chief executive of Suncor Energy Inc., Canada's largest single oil sands producer, said this week, reflecting rising frustration with the wave of American anti-oil sands policies:
"We are down to very limited amounts of spare capacity," he said. "Mexico is in very steep decline. The North Sea is in decline. Venezuela is likely to slip from here. There are problems in Nigeria, Russia. The world will absorb this oil one way or the other. If the U. S. doesn't take it, then we will develop other markets." ...Yesterday, Mr. Obama vowed to break America's addiction to "dirty, dwindling and dangerously expensive" oil if elected U. S. president -- and he said one of his first targets may well be imports from Canada's oil sands. A senior advisor to Obama's campaign said it's an "open question" whether Alberta's oil sands fit with Obama's vision for shifting the U. S. dramatically away from carbon-intensive fuels. ...
Canada's oil is now exported almost exclusively to the United States because it's dependent on the reach of pipelines. Of the 2.7 million barrels produced daily, 1.6 million is sold to Americans and 15,000 to 25,000 goes to non-U. S. markets, through a Kinder Morgan Energy Partners oil pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast.
That picture could soon change.(all emphasis added)
The sector is looking at reversing Enbridge Inc.'s Line 9, which would allow Western Canadian oil to move all the way to Montreal, and then from there move on another pipeline to the East coast, where it could be loaded on tankers for sale offshore.
Because the pipelines are already built, it's estimated it would take barely a year to reverse the flow of the oil and open that new option.
Meanwhile, interest is perking up yet again to build another pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast, to Kitimat or Prince Rupert, where oil tankers could sail to Asian markets.
Greg Stringham, vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said oil-sands companies are studying the alternatives because they want to keep their options open in case U. S. policies reduce their access to the U. S. market. ...
The entire NP editorial is here.
Senator Obama's had so much to do lately including:
Disowning his close friend and pastor of twenty years he said he could "no more disown" than "the black community."
Planning the "free health care" he's going to "give" all 300 million of us.
Counting those tens of millions coming to his campaign from special interest groups.
And accusing people of making bitter racist attacks on him and planning new ones.
With Obama having to do all that and more, I wouldn't be surprised to learn he doesn't know very much about the Canadian oil market.
What do you think?
Hat tip: AC