07 July 2008

Oil: Will More Drilling Lower Prices?

When the Republicans press their "Drill Now" campaign to scapegoat Democrats, liberals and environmentalists for today's high oil prices, their opponents are going to need facts to keep everyone honest. Here's a fact, courtesy of Naomi Klein from the newest Nation magazine. The whole article is very much worth reading, but this is the talking point for the moment:

Take the massive oil boom under way in Alberta's notorious tar sands. The tar sands (sometimes called the oil sands) have the same things going for them as Bush's proposed drill sites: they are nearby and perfectly secure, since the North American Free Trade Agreement contains a provision barring Canada from cutting off supply to the United States. And with little fanfare, oil from this largely untapped source has been pouring into the market, so much that Canada is now the largest supplier of oil to the United States, surpassing Saudi Arabia. Between 2005 and 2007, Canada increased its exports to the States by almost 100 million barrels. Yet despite this significant increase in secure supplies, oil prices have been going up the entire time.

From what I read, Senator Obama has some reservations about this supposedly "dirty" oil, but that shouldn't influence prices now. All the candidates have to be pressured to explain what they intend to do, if anything, about oil speculation. Put the oil-industry apologists on the spot and make them explain why speculation isn't to blame for higher prices, or if they dare, why oil speculation is good for the economy. If a candidate tells you there's nothing that can be done about it, find another who thinks there can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is true Canada is the number one supplier to the US when it comes to oil. The oil sands couldn't have been developed if it wasn't for higher demand globally thus forcing the price higher. Anyway I found some good facts out www.canadasoilsands.ca. It's an industry site, but there's an open discussion forum where you can post comments.