February 18, 2009
Laura Henderson (202) 621-2951

IER: Embrace Canadian Energy

Washington, D.C. – The Institute for Energy Research (IER) today released the following fact sheet on the important energy trade relationship between the United States and Canada in advance of the President’s trip there tomorrow. President Obama should resist the call from some organizations to antagonize Canada, our largest and most stable trading partner. Today’s economic climate should reinforce that he instead must move to strengthen our important economic ties with our northern neighbors.

We import more energy from Canada than any other country:

  • The United States imports more natural gas, refined gasoline, and oil from Canada than any other nation in the world—17 percent of our oil and 18 percent of our natural gas.
  • Nearly 100 percent of Canada’s energy exports go to the United States.
  • Canada supplies 2.5 million barrels of oil for the U.S. each day, which is roughly the equivalent of what we import from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria combined.
  • Oil sands make up 97 percent of Canada’s total proven reserves and 13 percent of total U.S. imports.
  • The United States imports 36 percent more oil from Canada than Saudi Arabia and 320 percent more than Iraq.

We export more goods to Canada than any other country:

  • According to the U.S. State Department, The United States and Canada share the largest energy trading relationship in the world.
  • Among other products, the United States exports 18.4 million short tons of coal to Canada.
  • In 2007, 65 percent of Canada’s imports came from the United States.

Our shared resources could provide both nations with an energy and economic boon:

  • Canada’s total oil sands resources could be as large as 2.6 trillion barrels.
  • According to the Department of Energy, if developed, U.S. oil shale resources—which could total 2.1 trillion barrels—combined with Canada’s tar sands, could allow the U.S. and Canada to claim the largest oil reserves in the world.

NOTE: The important energy trade relationship between the United States and Canada is indisputable. Any attempt to impede on that relationship would further the economic uncertainty in the United States.

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


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