How important is oil sands to America's energy future?
Our nation needs more supplies of all energy sources―including oil and natural gas―to meet growing energy demand and provide consumers with reliable fuel supplies.
According to government forecasts, oil and natural gas will continue to provide more than half of the energy needs for American consumers, even as alternative and renewable energy sources expand. Canada is our largest source of imported oil, accounting for more than 1 million barrels per day of U.S. oil imports, a figure that could reach 5 million barrels per day in 2030 with full oil sands development. This is essential to Americans' energy security and reducing U.S. dependence on imports from geopolitically unstable regions.
Oil sands are equally important to U.S. economic security. Nearly 2,400 American companies from 49 states are already involved in Canadian oil development and manufacturing the equipment and products used in Canadian oil production. In addition, the U.S. enjoys a more positive trade balance with Canada, as compared to other oil-producing nations.
The graph above demonstrates that in 2011, for every $1 of goods imported from Canada, the United States received $0.89 in return―from goods Canadians imported from the United States. Conversely, the United States received $0.33 cents back for every $1 of goods imported from OPEC countries. In fact, increased Canadian oil sands development is expected to generate $521 billion to the U.S. economy between now and 2035, according to a recent Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) study. Full oil sands utilization―including approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline―would support 600,000 new U.S. jobs by 2035. And it’s estimated that the pipeline’s construction phase alone could create 20,000 shovel-ready American manufacturing and construction jobs.
More American jobs and much-needed energy for the future make it clear that Canadian oil sands development is important for our economic and energy future.