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The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and oil executives have consistently claimed that the dirty Alberta tar sands oil, the Canadian petro state and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline are a boon to U.S. energy security. Here are seven reasons why this isn’t the case:
1. Tar sands cannot break the power of OPEC. The oil cartel, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), controls the world market for oil, and this will remain true with or without tar sands. The International Energy Agency forecasts show that OPEC’s share of the market is set to increase with or without tar sands growth. Even if the United States were to greatly increase its consumption of tar sands oil, it would not change the dynamic of the market or challenge OPEC control.
During his working visit to Washington, D.C. this week, Canada’s Federal Opposition leader Tom Mulcair, warned Americans about “Chinese intrusion into the North American energy market”. And about the security risks Canada potentially faces after the Harper Government authorized the purchase of Canada’s Nexen oil company by CNOOC, a state-owned Chinese company.
Taken together, FIPA and CNOOC’s takeover of Nexen effectively limit the ability of Canadian governments to independently control our own natural resource policy, while ceding enormous control over our resources to a foreign power.”
Mulcair also accused the Harper government of “negotiating a secret treaty with China that will give that country unfettered access to Canadian oil and gas reserves.”