Into the pipeline

By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  August 31, 2011

YOU RECENTLY WROTE A COLUMN FOR GRIST.ORG, "EVERYTHING YOU'VE HEARD ABOUT TAR SANDS AND ENERGY SECURITY IS WRONG." TELL US MORE. The oil industry has tried to claim that getting our oil from Canada is better than getting it from unstable petrocracies in the Middle East and elsewhere, and that argument has gotten some traction. But even a basic understanding of oil economics shows that exploiting the tar sands will do nothing to displace Middle Eastern oil. The reality is Saudi Arabia can produce oil several times more cheaply than oil from the tar sands...The only oil tar sands oil is likely to displace is other American oil.

Deirdre Fulton can be reached at dfulton@phx.com.

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