The tar sands hold an estimated 174 billion barrels of crude oil, making Canada's oil-sands deposits second only to Saudi Arabia in global reserves. The U.S. currently obtains 1 million barrels a day from Canada's tar sands, but with planned investments the daily supply could exceed 3 million barrels by 2015. . .Perry also blogs at Carpe Diem, which I recommend.
Given these facts, you'd think our political leaders would insist on a long-term commitment to shore up oil production and refining in North America. But that hasn't happened.
Although President Bush has publicly welcomed production of Canadian tar sands oil, Congress last year passed legislation that prohibits the government from using alternative fuels that have a larger carbon footprint than conventional oil.
As a result, the Defense Department is unable to use jet fuel made from tar sands oil even though greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of tar sands oil have fallen 32% since 1990.
Now California is moving to disallow the use of tar sands oil under a recently approved low carbon fuels standard sought by environmental groups, and Illinois is among a dozen states also considering such a standard. Advocacy group Environment Illinois has vowed to challenge any refinery expansion or modification permits that would facilitate greater use of tar sands oil, and has asked the Great Lakes state governors to impose such a ban.
The irony is that countries with fast-growing economies such as those in China, Brazil and India are accelerating energy resource development, while resource-rich North America is becoming captive to environmental extremism and continues to restrict access to oil supplies.
Monday, March 31, 2008
University of Michigan finance/econ prof Mark Perry in a March 28th Investor's Business Daily op-ed: