LETTER: Rely on U.S. energy resources, not controversial oil sandsPresident George W. Bush consistently says we need to limit our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. But we import more oil today than we did when Bush began his presidency.
To The Telegram:
President George W. Bush consistently says we need to limit our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. But we import more oil today than we did when Bush began his presidency. In fact, the United States imported roughly 70 percent of the oil it consumed in 2007. Our largest oil provider is Canada — the same nation that agreed to the Kyoto Protocol and the same foreign nation that wants to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent from 2006 levels by the year 2020. Oil companies plan on quadrupling oil sands production in the next 15 years. Yet, it’s been predicted that oil sands production emits three times more greenhouse gases then regular oil production. It will be very difficult for Canada to meet these restrictions if oil sands production continues to expand.
Hundreds of farmers lost their land, and more than 100,000 acres of forest have been cut down to support oil sands mining. Local Canadians are fed up. Influential organizations like the Pembina Institute are demanding that oil sands production be stopped. This attracted international interest. Greenpeace now has started protesting the oil sand industry. These organizations and citizens feel the oil sands industry is expanding out of control. Can we really rely on this foreign source of oil? Are oil sands really a reliable energy source for our future?
Murphy Oil Co., headquartered in Arkansas, wants to expand the refinery in Superior. They plan on using Canada’s oil sands production to supply a 235,000 barrel per day production. This could provide many construction jobs and several hundred permanent jobs. But how secure are these potential jobs if problems increase in Canada? What will happen to the refinery if Canadian environmental policy and growing dissent from influential organizations slows oil sands production?
We need to consider other more reliable energy sources, energy made in America. Biofuels, solar and wind energy are all sources of energy made here in America. Let’s invest in our future. Let’s actually cut our dependence on foreign oil. Now is the time to boost research and development of renewable sources. Seize the advantage of winds from Lake Superior. Utilize corn production for ethanol. Renewable energy can provide many American’s with jobs constructing and maintaining solar panels or wind turbines. Most importantly renewable energy comes from the most reliable source, America.
— Nicolas Allinder, student,
Student at University of Wisconsin-Madison