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Alberta’s oil sand bounty headed to Asia

August 24, 2011

Alberta’s oil sands are another massive unconventional petroleum resource that is already under development.  As noted here last week, if the US will not approve the Keystone pipeline, then that oil will head elsewhere.  A rival pipeline that would wind through the Canadian Rockies to a port in British Columbia has found eager commercial support from Asian interests.

We cannot say this often enough:  North America could supply 90% or more of its domestic energy needs if the nations’ find the will to access the Fortune Beneath Our Feet.   Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created, and over a trillion dollars in leases, royalties and additional taxes would flow into cash strapped government treasuries.    This can all be done with an eye toward environmental and climate concerns.  All it takes is political imagination  . . . and will.

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One comment

  1. […] Online, I have come across many supporters of Keystone who believe that these environmentalists are irrational obstructionists, and that they should simply be steamrolled and the pipeline forced upon them despite their objections.   The “steamroll” strategy is becoming increasingly appealing to parties across the political spectrum, and it is as sophomoric as it is ineffectual.   Politics is an art, and there are a few basic ways to get what you want, and to get it in such a way that the other side doesn’t seek to undo it once they regain power.  One is old fashioned horse trading – wherein you give the other side something that they value in return for something that you value.    Another is to co-opt members of the other side to your own position, to convince enough of them to “switch sides” that the core opposition is small enough that it is made politically ineffective.  It is this latter approach which is the best option for Keystone supporters.  Because, the fact of the matter is that the national government of Canada and the provincial government of Alberta are both committed to fully developing this resource and sending their oil to market.  The question is in which direction will it head – south to the US, or west, to the Pacific coast and from there, largely, to China? […]



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