Every year, Canada spends tens of billions of dollars buying foreign oil. That’s a lot of money considering our country’s production could theoretically largely cover a local demand that averages 2.7 million barrels per day.
The issue is not a lack of oil. It is structural.
Today, barrels produced in Alberta and Saskatchewan can’t travel east because there is no continuous pipeline bridging the energy-rich west to Québec and the Maritimes. As a result, every single day Canada is forced to import some 634,000 barrels of crude oil, a majority of which supplies refineries in Eastern Canada and Québec.
Importing foreign oil
This bottleneck fills the pockets of foreign producers. Leading importers include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Norway, Algeria and Angola, which sell a combined $8 billion worth of crude to Canada every year.
Let’s put this number in context by comparing what this money could actually buy if it stayed at home.
What does $8 billion represent?
- It is enough to cover the average annual salary of 15,000 Canadian teachers for nine consecutive years.
- It represents the entire economic wealth created in one year by a country like Niger or Haiti.
And what about $26 billion?
The most recent dollar figures by the National Energy Board shows that in a single year Canada spent a little more than $26 billion importing oil.
A solution: Energy East
Energy East will curb these costly imports, which would help keep more money at home. Every single day, the West-to-East pipeline will transport 1.1 million barrels of oil to Québec and New Brunswick. That’s nearly double the amount imported into the region right now.
Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil over long distances. They’re safer than train, truck and boat transport. It’s a fact, backed by independent research.
The Energy East pipeline will shore up our country’s energy independence and help ensure that the billions of dollars now spent on foreign imports are invested right where they are needed, here in Canada.