Sunday, November 27, 2011

Looking a gift horse in the mouth

Instead of thanking our lucky stars that our peaceful friends to the north sit on billions upon billions of barrels of oil, we shun them. Other countries have wiser leaders when it comes to energy, so Canadian oil will go elsewhere. Walter Russell Mead sums up this travesty rather neatly
This is what bad energy policy looks like: as the US dithers over Canadian tar sands oil, China is ready to buy.  Access to reliable oil from a friendly neighboring country like Canada is one of America’s greatest geopolitical blessings.  Throwing this away would be the height of folly; those seem to be heights we are eager to scale.
Perhaps America’s profoundly dysfunctional and confused green movement will come to its senses as the reality that the US cannot stop Canadian tar sands development sinks in.  The question is not whether this oil will be produced; the question is whether the US will get direct benefits from it like geopolitical security and refining jobs.  It is not only in America’s interest to have this oil ourselves; it is in our interest for China to have to scramble for oil in sketchy, unstable places while US crude comes from safe and convenient ones.