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Too much ‘oil bashing’ from Obama and McCain: Fraser Institute

A Fraser Institute analyst doesn’t like either U.S. presidential candidate. Why? Both Obama and McCain aren’t sufficiently enthusiastic about oil.

“Oil bashing is de riguer” on the U.S. campaign trail, complains Diane Katz writing in this month’s Fraser Forum magazine.

Canada is America’s biggest source of foreign oil. But both Obama and McCain keep talking up green energy alternatives and other policies that “would certainly reduce the volume of oil imports to the United States,” worries Katz.

Even worse, Obama and McCain both vow to push for fuels that produce fewer carbon emissions from the time they are extracted to when they are burned. That so-called “low carbon fuel standard” is a terrible idea, warns Katz, because petroleum derived from Canada’s oil sands “requires more energy (and thus creates more emissions) to produce and refine than crude oil and products from conventional sources.”

Katz is the conservative think tank’s Director of Risk, Environment, and Energy Policy Studies. Might she at least draw solace from McCain supporters’ chants of “Drill, baby, drill!”?

No, she does not. “If the candidates’ rhetoric is any indication, the next president will punish the petroleum industry with more stringent regulations and steeper taxes in the name of weaning Americans off from their ‘addiction’ to oil and saving the Earth from presumed catastrophic climate change.”

Damn oil bashers, indeed. Any silver lining at all? “Increased government spending on new energy infrastructure, as called for by both candidates, could be a plus for Canadian materials and engineering companies,” she allows.

But don’t picture a smiling Katz. The headline over her article says it all: “A barrel full of problems: Candidates’ stance on oil will hurt North American economy.”

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

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