Hoeven, Doer Stress Importance of U.S.-Canadian Energy, Trade Partnership

Keystone XL, Projects Like It, Needed to Advance North American Energy Security

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven and Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer today pressed home the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline project and a strong U.S.-Canadian trade partnership to advance North American energy security and economic growth for both nations.

Hoeven, who recently returned from a Senate mission to Ukraine, said events in that country underscore the need for a strong U.S.-Canadian energy partnership. Countries that are reliant on hostile sources for energy run the risk of isolating themselves and becoming economically and politically vulnerable, Hoeven said. That’s the situation Ukraine and Europe find themselves in today, he said.

The remarkably close trade relationship the U.S. enjoys with Canada on energy, as well as other goods, can help both countries reduce their dependence on foreign suppliers of oil and help our allies in Europe blunt the influence of Russian aggression, economically and politically.

The issue of U.S.-Canadian energy partnership also comes at a time when the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project is delayed into its sixth year. In January, the U.S. State Department released its fifth and final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project and once again concluded that the Keystone XL project would pose no significant environmental impact and is, moreover, the safest way to transport Canadian oil.

The EIS also found that U.S. rejection of the permit will not affect Canada’s decision to develop these vital oil resources. If the pipeline is not built, Canadian oil will continue to be produced, transported and sold. The only question is whether the oil will be sold to the United States or to our economic competitors abroad.

“In Ukraine, we saw a people fighting for freedom, but frustrated and fearful in their aspirations because of their energy dependence on Russia,” Hoeven said. “Europe gets half of its natural gas from Russia and about 30 percent of that is piped through Ukraine, with a Russian hand on the shut-off valve. We can avoid that in the United States by recommitting to our dynamic trade relationship with Canada, our closest friend and ally and our largest trading partner. Both countries stand to benefit by a robust trade partnership, economically and in terms of national security.”

“The Keystone XL pipeline would be the safest, most economic and least GHG intensive method available,” said Ambassador Doer. “Greater North American energy independence can be achieved if we develop the resources we have in our own backyard.”

More than 71 percent of all U.S. exports worldwide, and more than 60 percent of all North Dakota exports, go to our neighbor Canada. In 2013, the U.S. exported more than $300 billion in goods to Canada, a 2.6 percent increase over 2012. That included everything from automobiles and trucks to agricultural equipment, electronics and aircraft parts.

Canada, in turn, provides a significant share of U.S. energy needs. Currently, Canada is the United States’ largest supplier of foreign oil, sending 2.5 billion barrels of oil to the U.S. daily. The pipeline will boost Canadian oil imports by more than 730,000 barrels a day. With an additional 100,000 barrels a day from North Dakota and Montana, it will carry 830,000 barrels a day to U.S. refineries.

In addition, the United States is Canada’s largest importer of natural gas. Furthermore, the electricity networks of Canada and the United States are highly integrated, and the United States is a net importer of electricity from Canada.