Oil Politics: Canada’s Role in the Energy World
Mention Canada, and images of mounties, maple syrup or possibly Montreal are most likely to spring to mind.
But the country is sitting on the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Its extraction could lead to great wealth - but it also raises environmental concerns.
The bulk of the reserves lie in the oil sands of Northern Alberta. Recently Katty Kay, the anchor of BBC World News America, moderated a panel of experts at the University of Calgary.
These men and women offered their perspectives on Canada’s role in supplying the globe with energy.
“Canada is now the fifth-largest producer of oil in the world… and it is the fourth largest exporter in the world. Ask yourself, which other countries in the world of that magnitude of oil export are politically stable, free-market, rule of law,” said Peter Tertzakian, chief energy economist and managing director of ARC Financial Group.
He argued those distinctions put Canada in a unique position, especially at a time when political volatility has raised serious questions about supply routes and driven prices higher.
For decades Canada has been the largest supplier of oil to the United States, but recently a row has erupted over the proposal to extend the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada into the northern US.
President Obama rejected Transcanada’s original path on the basis that it could damage environmentally sensitive areas in the American Midwest. Now a new route has been submitted.