CHICAGO - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today delivered remarks hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs regarding the strong energy relationship that exists between Canada and the United States. The Minister discussed Canada's leadership in enhancing environmental protection and energy security to support jobs, economic growth and our long-term prosperity.
"Canada will continue to be the leading, most secure, reliable and competitive energy supplier to the United States," said Minister Oliver. "Our goals are aligned on greenhouse gas emissions and the priority of enhancing jobs and economic growth on both sides of the border."
Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the United States, sending 2.8 million barrels of competitively priced crude and petroleum products per day to U.S. consumers and refineries - including one million barrels of oil per day from the Canadian oil sands. This partnership is supporting jobs, long-term prosperity and stewardship of the environment on both sides of our shared border - including in the State of Illinois.
Canada currently sends 820,100 barrels per day to refineries in Illinois, which means that an average of 83 percent of oil produced in Illinois is from Canadian crude. The Canadian Energy Research Institute projects that the development of new oil sands projects will create more jobs in Illinois than any other state - 570,000 person years of employment over the next 25 years in various sectors, including construction and manufacturing.
Between 2005 and 2010, Canada's economy grew while its actual GHG emissions declined. In 2010, the oil sands accounted for 0.1 percent of global GHG emissions - or one-one thousandth - less than half the emissions originating from coal-fired electricity in Illinois. The sector has reduced per-unit GHG emissions by 26 percent over the past two decades, and that work continues.
"Canada's plan for the responsible development of our abundant natural resources includes our announced intention to be one of the first major suppliers to the U.S. to regulate GHG emissions from our oil and gas sector," said Minister Oliver. "The approval of Keystone XL would replace oil from Venezuela and the Middle East with a stable supply and improve the energy security of North America."
Canada has already introduced new GHG regulations that are significantly reducing emissions from coal-fired electricity, cars and light trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles. Canada has become the first country in the world to prohibit new coal-fired plants that use traditional technologies and to put in place GHG regulations that make certain that vehicles rolling off the line in 2025 will produce almost 50 percent fewer GHG emissions and consume up to 50 percent less fuel than models produced in 2008.
"Canada will continue developing its natural resources for export to the United States and the fastest-growing regions of the world in a way that ensures the environment is protected," added Minister Oliver.
Earlier in the day, Minister Oliver also toured the Pipe Fitters' Training Center in Mokena, Illinois, where he met with individuals who are benefiting first-hand from the development of the Canadian oil sands.
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