The sectarian violence which has gripped Iraq over the past week has translated into a jump in the cost of oil per barrel, highlighting the need for new supplies of crude oil from stable markets like Canada and the United States to prevent price spikes.
According to the New York Times “amid the uncertainty, oil prices have been rising modestly in recent days. On Friday, Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose about 0.25 percent to $113.32. West Texas Intermediate, the standard in the United States, was up 0.1 percent to $106.66.” And as Time points out, “even if Iraq doesn’t collapse, the unrest will take a long-term toll on the country’s ability to produce oil—and that toll will be felt by consumers in the future.”
With the failure of its national army leaving the future of Iraq uncertain, it is clear that America’s reliance on the often-unstable member nations of OPEC to provide nearly 20% of its oil supply has the potential to drive up fuel costs and put the certainty of the country’s fuel supply at risk.
While we don’t know how the situation in Iraq will evolve over the next several weeks, we do know that the Keystone XL Pipeline will stabilize gas prices and shift the U.S. away from dependence on oil imported from outside North America:
- Canada is a friendly, reliable source of crude oil with whom the U.S. shares its most profitable trade partnership.
- The KXL will safely and reliably connect the world’s largest and most sophisticated refining hub in the Gulf Coast with the third largest oil reserves on the planet and the second largest oil-producing region in the United States.
- The 830,000 barrels of oil per day that will flow through Keystone XL will help reduce fuel prices for families coast to coast, and dramatically improve U.S. energy security by reducing reliance on Venezuelan and Middle Eastern oil.
The time is now to move forward on this important measure in securing America’s oil supply and making the country less dependent on the world’s most politically volatile regions.