US urges fivefold expansion in Alberta oilsands production
Date: Thursday, January 18 2007
U.S. urges 'fivefold expansion' in Alberta oilsands production
Last Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2007 | 6:31 AM ET
The U.S. wants Canada to dramatically expand its oil exports from the Alberta oilsands, a move that could have major implications on the environment.
U.S.and Canadian oil executives and government officials met for a two-day oil summit in Houston in January 2006 and made plans for a "fivefold expansion" in oilsands production in a relatively "short time span," according to minutes of the meeting obtained by the CBC's French-language network, Radio-Canada.
The meeting was organized by Natural Resources Canada and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Canada is already the top exporter of oil to the American market, exporting the equivalent of one million barrels a day — the exact amount that the oilsands industry in Alberta currently produces.
A fivefold increase would mean the exportation of five million barrels a day, which would supply a quarter of current American consumption and add up to almost half of all U.S. imports.
But the current extraction of oil from the tarsands results in the spewing of millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere: it's already the biggest source of new greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.