Towards North American Energy Security: Removing Barriers to Oil Industry Development

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This report is the first in a series of papers undertaken by the Fraser Institute in the course of developing a Continental Energy Strategy. The fundamental objective of this strategy is to ensure that applicable policy and institutional frameworks are conducive to as rapid a development of North America?s energy resources as possible, in light of market conditions, legitimate environmental concerns, and global investment opportunities. While North America?s proven crude oil reserves represent only about 15% of the world?s reserves, if probable and possible crude oil resources in US oil shale formations and in the offshore areas of Canada, the United States, and Mexico are considered, the continent?s crude oil supply potential is substantial. The goal of accelerated development of the continent?s energy resources is predicated on the economic benefits that it can bring in terms of expanded employment, improvements in living standards, and security of energy supply. In order to achieve this objective, the report argues that nonmarket barriers to private investment must be identified and removed.

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