ARCHIVED - Canada: An Environmentally Responsible Energy Supplier to the U.S.

Information Archived on the Web

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Backgrounder

The Canada–U.S. bilateral relationship is a model for the world. It is founded on common values, mutual interests and shared prosperity.

  • Our two nations’ commitment to democracy, free markets and rule of law underpins what is the world’s most successful relationship.
  • We have the deepest economic and energy relationship in the world, and it has contributed to the shared prosperity and energy security of our two countries.
  • Sixty percent of the world’s oil that is open to free market investment is located in Canada. While other countries have nationalized or expropriated U.S. assets, Canada welcomes American investment in the sector.

Canada has a strong and proud environmental record. Going forward, we have an ambitious environmental agenda that is highly aligned with the United States.

  • Canada has the same GHG reduction target as the U.S. — a 17 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. It is estimated that Canada is already halfway to meeting this target.
  • Canada and the U.S. have moved in lockstep, implementing aggressive fuel efficiency standards.
  • Canada is the only country in the world with regulations banning coal-fired power plants that use traditional technology.
  • GHG emissions from coal-fired power plants in the state of Alabama alone are similar to those of Canada’s oil sands, which represent only one one-thousandth of global GHG emissions.
  • Canada has more than 386,000 square miles of protected land, with close to 57,000 square miles added since 2006.

The Canadian oil and gas sector is subject to world-class environmental requirements.

  • Canadian oil sands development projects must bring land back to a natural state.
  • Canada has a world-class, science-based air, land and water monitoring regime for the oil sands.
  • Canada is developing additional regulations to reduce GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector — including the oil sands. Between 1990 and 2011, per-barrel GHG emissions in the oil sands dropped 26 percent.

For the U.S., Canada is the most environmentally responsible choice for oil — a choice that brings with it important economic and energy security benefits.

  • The State Department’s Supplemental Environment Impact Statement (SEIS) concludes that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project is “unlikely to have a substantial impact” on the rate of development of the oil sands or the demand for heavy oil in the U.S. — it would replace existing imported overseas heavy crude oil.
  • The SEIS also determined that Keystone XL “would not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects.”
  • The Canadian oil sands will be the only major source of oil going into the U.S. market that is subject to a world-class environmental monitoring and reporting system.
  • Canada will be the only major supplier of oil to the U.S. that subjects its production to mandatory requirements to reduce GHG emissions. 
  • Over 1,000 U.S. companies sell goods and services to the Canadian oil sands sector.
  • Oil from Canada provides the U.S. with greater energy security than oil from overseas countries like Venezuela and those in the Middle East.