January 4, 2009

GO NORTH, YOUNG MAN. Joel Kotkin advises Obama to form a North American Energy Agreement:

A U.S.-Canada energy consortium — with the eventual involvement of Mexico — provides us out from our fundamental geopolitical dilemma: how to grow our economy while reducing our dependence on imported energy and, over time, carbon-emitting fuels. This could take the form of something like a North American Energy Community, which would help coordinate research, development and environmental resources across the continent.

This approach would offer a way to shift our economic interests away from unreliable and unfriendly regimes towards countries with whom we have far better personal, political and economic ties. Current estimates indicate we will increase oil imports from 12.6 million barrels a day today to 16.4 million in 2030. More than half of that is expected to come from OPEC suppliers, with much of the rest from Russia and the Central Asia autocracies.

A continental strategy would halt this dangerous slide. Taken together, the resources of our three countries are both immense and extraordinarily diverse. Overall, North America ranks second only to the Middle East in proven oil reserves. Canada, for example, has the world’s second largest proven crude oil reserves, outpaced only by Saudi Arabia; the United States ranks 11th and Mexico 14th. The three North American states rank in the top fifteen in natural gas production, as well.

This alliance can work both in the short run on fossil fuels and will, over time, blossom with the shift to renewables.

Read the whole thing. Especially if you’re Barack Obama.

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