NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Importing Canadian Oil Is in America's Interest

July 27, 2011

Attempting to restrict American imports of Canadian oil is a mistake that ignores both the reality of U.S. dependence on imported oil, as well as the only major alternative sources of such oil -- repressive governments that restrict civil, political and economic freedoms, says Mark Milke, director of Alberta Policy Studies at the Fraser Institute.

  • Canada now provides more oil to America than all the Persian Gulf countries combined, even though America imports 5.5 million more barrels of oil daily than it did in 1973.
  • In 2009, the United States relied on Persian Gulf countries for 14.4 percent of its oil imports, down from 24.5 percent of all U.S. oil imports in 1979.
  • In contrast, Canada supplied the United States with 21.2 percent of its oil imports in 2009, an increase from the 6.4 percent Canada supplied in 1979.

In addition to the reality of American oil demand and imports, Milke measures how major oil-producing jurisdictions around the world, defined as those that produce more than 250,000 barrels of oil daily, perform on 17 comparisons of civil, political and economic freedoms.  A total of 38 countries, from five continents, are compared.

Source: Mark Milke, "In America's National Interest -- Canadian Oil," Fraser Institute, July 19, 2011.

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