Imported Russian Oil Banned: Et Tu Trudeau?

imported Russian oil

U.S. President Joe Biden just announced a ban on imported Russian oil into his country. Is it the right thing to do? This latest sanction is to show support for Ukraine and disdain for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Will Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau follow suit?

Global Oil Reserves

Like it or not, crude oil is (currently) the main source of energy around the world. Until that changes (if it ever changes) oil reserves are a huge commodity. Which countries have the most oil reserves? This list from World Population Review shows the current (2022 data) facts…

Imported Russian Oil

These facts are deceiving, however. For example, Venezuela’s oil is predominantly offshore so fairly difficult to access. Saudi Arabia’s oil, on the other hand, is located inland and close to the land surface. Crude oil reserves are based not only on quantity but how readily accessible the reserves are with current technology. Regardless, you can see the general position of countries within this list of proven oil reserves. Canada is near the top, the USA is below number ten.

Oil Imports and Exports

So, from this I’m gathering Biden’s sanction banning imported Russian oil won’t have much of an impact on Russia. According to EIA the USA imports most of its oil from Canada:

Canada remained the largest exporter of total petroleum to the United States in December; exporting 4.8 million b/d. The second largest exporter of total petroleum was Mexico with 645,000 b/d.

EIA, December 2021

Canada also imports very little oil from Russia, so an imported oil sanction by Trudeau would be more symbolic (like Biden’s) than catastrophic for Putin and Russia. It might poke the bear though.

Canada sits at the top of the list of crude oil importers (predominantly from Saudi Arabia), according to the EIA:

Imported Russian Oil
EIA data, December 2021

While one of Canada’s biggest exports is, you guessed it, crude oil. This data is from Investopedia:

Are you confused yet? Canada is at the top of the list for its impressive oil reserves, something a cold-weather country should aim to be. We also sit at the top of the exporting of oil list, which economically is great. Isn’t it? But wait, we are also at the top of the imported oil list. How is that economical? Granted, I’m no economist, but I did excel in accounting 101. I am confused, not to mention annoyed and frustrated.

Using Canadian Oil Instead of Imported Oil?

This topic has come up before with Trudeau’s resistance to approving pipelines between the oil reserves in the west for use in the eastern provinces. (Most) Canadians would prefer to use the oil we have, rather than depend on foreign countries for their supply. The Russian invasion of Ukraine just emphasizes this opinion.

The National Post has a great but sad explanation:

So proud is the Trudeau government of its action on environmental stewardship and climate change that it essentially does the Saudis’ dirty work for them. By tightening the screws on domestic Canadian production while seeing an increase in Saudi-originating imports we are helping to accelerate the rate of our own energy-sector’s decline.

National Post

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Sparks Anger

Russian Invasion

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has angered democratic countries around the world. As a result, will this brutal Russian evasion wake us up? By us, I mean our Canadian federal government. For example, will the promised sanctions include refusing to import Russian oil? What else will these sanctions include?

Is Self-Sufficiency not a Good Thing?

This Russian invasion is driving oil prices amongst other things. Why would we not want to be as self-sufficient as possible as a nation? The pipeline debate should resurface in spades. Hopefully, the debate will stop and the pipelines will prosper.

In short, Russia supplies a large portion of the world with oil, including Canada, even though we have our own oil. Our (self-inflicted) problem is that we don’t have pipelines to distribute the oil we have across our large country. We would rather accept oil from Russia than create pipelines to use our own oil efficiently and economically. Really?

The National Post described the dilemma well back in 2018. This opinion might be considered visionary today:

Opinion: The fact is that if we don’t provide it, someone else will — even if that someone is Vladimir Putin

Stewart Muir,  Special to Financial Post

photo credit: ANDREY RUDAKOV/BLOOMBERG

Is Crude Oil on Tankers Clean?

Russian crude oil comes into Canada and the USA on huge tankers along the St Lawrence River to the Great Lakes to the east as well as along the Pacific coast to the west. The tankers often sit around in our waters before they are loaded and unloaded too. How clean can that be? Why are eco-green fans not screaming about how potentially dirty this practice is? In summary, oil leaks polluting our waterways are acceptable, but pipelines are not?

Which Country is Next in Russian Invasion?

Will Putin stop at infiltrating Ukraine or will he push into other, former Soviet Bloc countries? Should Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine’s fellow non-NATO member Moldova be worried? NATO is an alliance of 30 North American and European countries created in 1949 after World War II. Unfortunately, Ukraine is not (yet) a member of NATO. Word is they did apply in 2008; reasons for the delay in their acceptance are controversial, to say the least.

Russian Invasion
photo credit

How to Help Ukraine

It will be interesting to see just how other countries respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Troops from around the world are deployed to protect neighbouring NATO members. Sanctions are a must to punish Putin and his communist/nationalist regime and their economy.

Above all, the people of Ukraine need help from across the pond. Our country has a huge contingency of Ukrainian immigrants that now call Canada home. Legitimate fundraising options to help Ukrainians stuck in Europe are popping up as the world reacts. Just be sure to check them out first. The Globe and Mail has compiled a recent list here in Canada.

Trump and Russian Prostitutes

Rumours are circulating that documentation showing US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian prostitutes engaging in sexual shenanigans has surfaced. The media, of course, is running with it.   What is it about sex that creates such a scandal?  

Does no one remember the exploits of JFK, Eliot Spitzer, Bill (I never had sexual relations with that woman) Clinton, and Arnold (impregnating the family nanny), Schwarzenegger, just to name a few?  Does anybody care about these transgressions after the dust settles? Spitzer did resign as Governor of New York, but Bill Clinton still makes millions of dollars as a motivational speaker and Schwarzenegger is still Governor of California.

Are these allegations about Trump enough to boot him out of office?  Don’t get me wrong,  I find Trump’s behaviour reprehensible and disgusting.  Did everyone not know before and during the electoral process what an immoral, rude, crass, egotistical person he is?  I guess anyone who voted for him did not think those qualities should prevent him from becoming the president of the United States.

Hopefully, further investigation will come up with something more incriminating than lewd sexual acts with a few prostitutes.  Maybe this current scandal is a coverup for something much more sinister and dangerous, starting with election fraud, lucrative business (real estate) deals, and/or leaking of security details to and from the Kremlin.

I am betting we have just seen the tip of the iceberg! Regardless, who really cares about the (alleged) activities between Trump and Russian prostitutes? Not me! Not that I like the man but this is just another sad example of mud-slinging politics.