Last week, Radio Canada announced that their local government will increase in a large way the oil production to answer the demand from the USA. The demand could thus be multiplied by a factor five before 2015. Putting the oil supply from 1 million barrel per day to five million will require to extract more from Alberta States tar sands. This will require to build new pipelines from Alberta State to the United States as well as new refinery capacities.
The US Federal Government asked their neighbour to do so in order for them to decrease the oil imports from the Middle East, a region of the world that currently witnesses a surge of political problems ( war in Iraq, nuclear issue with Iran… ).
Extracting more tar sands from Canada will increase in a dramatic way this country’s greenhouse gases emissions. However, it has to be mentioned that this country ratified the Kyoto Protocol and is normally committed to decrease its harmful emissions. The new Prime Minister multiplied declarations about the fact that his country will not respect its promise.
It is interesting to note that Canadian emissions increased by 20 percent between 1990 and 2002 (source : Courrier International) when this Government agreed at the time of ratification to decrease greenhouse gases emissions by 6 percent.
Five million barrel per day will represent for the United States 25 percent of their total daily oil consumption and nearly half of their imports. With these figures in mind we can clearly understand why the US Federal government pushed their neighbour to increase oil production.
I would like to infer today’s post by stating that by doing so, the United States and Canada governments make another step back the Kyoto Protocol and the fight against climate change. In the meantime, the UK, Germany and France among others decreased their emissions as they agreed (respectively by 14, 18 and 2 percent).