President Obama announced his plan for a 30-percent reduction in the amount of oil imported by the U.S. over a 14-year period. While doing this, he cited Canada as one of the few nations that the U.S. considers stable sources of reliable energy.
Obama’s initiative was announced during a time in which gas prices continue to rise and conflicts escalate in the Middle East. At present, America’s oil imports total 11 million barrels daily. Obama seeks to increase the domestic production of oil, invest in biofuels and develop heightened usage of natural gas. He also reiterated an ongoing goal to make all vehicles more fuel-efficient.
Obama stated that the U.S. could no longer continue to rely upon a finite source of energy, even when oil supplies are occasionally more plentiful. Gasoline currently costs more than $3.60 per gallon in the U.S., representing a seven-percent increase.
Although much of Obama’s rhetoric focused upon the need to invest in alternative forms of energy and curtail oil imports, it also acknowledged the need for the U.S. to partner with other countries for its oil needs. He noted that the U.S. would continue to rely upon Canada, Brazil and Mexico as oil sources for many years.
The U.S. currently imports some 20 percent of its oil from Canada, making Canada the largest provider of oil to the country. Mexico is the second-most significant supplier. One item not mentioned in Obama’s speech was the conflict in Washington over the proposed pipeline that would stretch from Alberta to Texas. The Keystone XL Project, developed by TransCanada, would transport about 500,000 barrels of crude oil from north to south. The price is estimated to be $7 billion.