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You may not be aware, but Alberta, Canada is America’s number one oil supplier. In a speech at the U.S. Chamber, Jim Prentice, Alberta’s Premier, said:
Alberta ships 2.5 million barrels of oil a day to the US. We are the largest supplier of crude oil to the United States of America. We contribute 26 percent of all American imports.
In comparison, oil imports from Saudi Arabia were slightly more than 1 million barrels a day in November 2015.
Nearly all Alberta’s oil comes from its oil sands with much it coming into the U.S. by pipelines.
So it’s no surprise that the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline is at the top of Premier Prentice’s mind.
“This project is in the national interest of our two countries,” Prentice said and explained:
The oil it would carry is produced in my province under environmental standards that are at least as high as those that apply to oil produced in the United States —and much, much higher than those that apply in other countries that are allowed to land their oil in the US market without interference.
The US has historically addressed its energy security issues via a policy of diversity of supply — facilitating and supporting open markets for energy trade and the construction of infrastructure to facilitate the import of oil from multiple suppliers.
Canada has been one of those suppliers. Proudly so.
This is what has made the Keystone delay and uncertainty so confusing to Canadians.
Prentice emphasized, “the energy relationship shared by our two nations is much bigger than Keystone.”
Nevertheless, “We need to enhance and continue to invest in the network of pipelines and transmission lines that knit our energy economy together.”
Doing so will create jobs, Prentice explained:
Last month, for example, I attended the grand opening of Enbridge’s Flanagan South I Seaway pipeline.
That pipeline, which stretches nearly 600 miles from Illinois to Oklahoma, is a vital link in the web connecting Canadian producers with American consumers.
600,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude oil now flow through Flanagan South and on through the expanded Seaway pipeline to American refineries along the Gulf Coast.
This creates American jobs. Permanent jobs. Refinery jobs.
The State Department had concluded that the Keystone XL pipeline will create 42,000 jobs.