Will China purchase Canada's oil sands crude if the Keystone XL pipeline isn’t built?
Following Pres. Obama's decision to reject the Keystone XL permit, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is looking to ship oil sands crude to Asian markets and met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in February 2012.
Shipping oil sands to Asian markets is a loss for American job creation, the U.S. economy and overall U.S. energy security for years to come.
Our neighbor to the north is one of our strongest allies and trading partners―and America’s largest supplier of oil and natural gas―thanks to the abundant and reliable Canadian oil sands reserves. In fact, Canada has the second largest oil reserves in the world, with more than 175 billion barrels of oil within its borders, sending 99 percent of its exported oil to the United States.
Canada’s vast reserves are surpassed only by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, and are a necessary part of America’s economic prosperity. Analyses show that increased investment in Canadian oil sands could generate nearly $775 billion in GDP for the United States and support 600,000 American jobs by 2035. But while countries like China are investing in oil sands, the United States is stalling refinery and pipeline projects needed to further develop these reserves. The Keystone XL pipeline is one example.
The 1,661-mile Keystone XL pipeline would deliver Canadian oil to Gulf of Mexico refineries, creating jobs for pipefitters in Nebraska, construction workers in Oklahoma and refinery workers in Texas, among thousands of others. It’s estimated that the pipeline’s construction phase alone could create 20,000 shovel-ready American manufacturing and construction jobs.
The Keystone XL pipeline has been thoroughly reviewed for almost four years and has successfully cleared three consecutive State Department environmental reviews―including multiple public hearings, consideration of 14 different routes and 57 special conditions exceeding current federal pipeline regulations that were agreed to by TransCanada. However, President Obama still rejected a permit for the pipeline.
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