Oil industry launches campaign to promote Canadian oil sand imports

Schild cited an October 2009 Canadian Energy Research Institute study that said Canadian oil-sands development could spur the creation of 342,000 jobs in the United States between 2011 and 2015. Schild said the jobs would come from the “goods and services” required to support increased oil-sands imports.

The announcement comes as environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation, have launched a massive campaign focused on the environmental effect of oil-sands production. The campaign is largely focused on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project, which would transport Canadian oil sands from Alberta to Texas. The project is currently being reviewed by the State Department. 

Oil-sands production results in higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil production, but the exact emissions are an issue of dispute between environmentalists and the oil industry.

On the call Wednesday, Schild said oil sands result in 5 percent to 15 percent more emissions than conventional oil over the whole lifecycle of the fuel. Environmentalists are certain to disagree with that figure, as they often cite statistics as high as 30 percent more than conventional oil.

“We’re doing everything we can to tell people that the greenhouse gas issue is not, we believe, an issue that should prevent oil-sands expansion,” John Kerekes, central region director for API said on the call.