New Study Touts Benefits of Expanded Oil Trade with Canada

Washington, DC, August 9, 2011 – Canada now provides more oil to the U.S. than all Persian Gulf countries combined, lessening America’s so-called “dependence” on oil from the Middle East, yet environmental pressure groups continue to oppose efforts to expand oil importation from Canada, especially crude derived from tar sands. A new study published by Canada’s Fraser Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute advocates expanding this trade relationship with Canada.  See: In America’s National Interest – Canadian Oil: A Comparison of Civil, Political, and Economic Freedoms of Oil-Producing Countries

Using data compiled from both CEI and Fraser, author Mark Milke, Ph.D. outlines reasons why Americans should not dismiss the importance of Canadian oil exports, particularly oil sands.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects tar sands to play an increasing role in the energy market over the next several decades, making Canada a necessary part of U.S. energy policy. The fact that Canada is an allied nation sharing the same values means that any proposal to expand trade with them needs to be taken very seriously.

“Restricting trade with an ally that has similar values in terms of equality, civil rights, and individual freedoms is simply not in America’s best interests,” writes Milke.

The study rates each oil-producing country based on these shared values. Using 17 different comparisons of civil, political, and economic freedoms, to include eight measurements of women’s freedoms, the study argues the importance of building an energy policy with nations not hostile or in objection to those values.  Of all 38 countries, Canada and Norway are the only two with whom we share common values and interests.

“Dr. Milke’s report reveals that the green campaign to sabotage the burgeoning U.S.-Canada trade in energy is as morally illiterate as it is economically disruptive,” said Marlo Lewis, CEI Senior Fellow.

“Green pressure groups imagine that blocking construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline will hasten the day when America transitions to a ‘beyond petroleum’ economy.  This is fantasy,” said Lewis.

“U.S. and global demand for oil are going to increase over the next 15 years even if biofuels and electric vehicles achieve unexpected breakthroughs,” he said. “Consequently, restricting oil imports from Canada will simply increase U.S. oil imports from unsavory regimes where corruption is the norm, environmental safeguards are weak, autocrats brutally suppress dissent, and the equality of women is denied.”

> View the study: In America’s National Interest – Canadian Oil: A Comparison of Civil, Political, and Economic Freedoms of Oil-Producing Countries

> Contact Mark Milke, Fraser Institute

> Contact Marlo Lewis, Competitive Enterprise Institute