From my editorial for McClatchy News
, out for national distribution this weekend:
Canada's vast oil sands hold an estimated 174 billion barrels of recoverable oil, second in the world only to Saudi Arabia's reserves. What's significant is that Canada now supplies the United States with more oil than all of the Middle East countries combined.
If not for our access to Canada's oil sands, the United States would be unable easily to replace declining oil imports from Mexico and Venezuela, and we would be at the mercy of Gulf sheikhdoms with shifting allegiances.
By 2020, the amount of Canadian oil shipped to the United States could double from current levels, increasing up to 5 million barrels per day and accounting for at least 40 percent of America's oil imports. But that depends on the construction of the Keystone pipeline, a 1,700-mile artery extending from Alberta to Texas refineries at the Gulf of Mexico. Because it would cross the U.S.-Canadian border at Montana, the Keystone pipeline would also carry stranded American oil that is flowing in large quantities from shale deposits in Montana and North Dakota.
The Keystone pipeline would create 20,000 American jobs and nearly 120,000 indirect jobs as well as increase revenues for state and local governments along its route. It would be senseless to forfeit such a huge economic stimulus with guaranteed job creation and an estimated $20 billion in revenue at a time when 25 million Americans are looking for work.
The enormity of the challenge before us is obvious. If America is to have a reliable and affordable supply of oil in the future, we will need Canada's oil sands. Since this great resource is nearby and its development will stimulate our economy, provide jobs and strengthen our energy security, there are few more important tasks than ensuring the Keystone pipeline gets built. President Obama should approve its construction, for the good of the country.
: "Canada's Oil Sands Are a Jobs Gusher" by WSJ's Mary Anastasia O'Grady
Update: In contrast, green-jobs subsidies of $17.2 billion have created about 3,545 new permanent jobs, at a cost of $4.85 million per job.