Article: Peak Oil and Energy Imperialism by John Bellamy Foster

Peak Oil and Energy Imperialism by John Bellamy Foster talks about the modern day idea of what imperialism is and how it relates to peak oil. The control of energy is the new form of imperialism and the United States of America is the most active participant. The potential to reach peak oil levels is the reason in countries racing to obtain as much control over the remaining oil supplies as possible. Though peak oil does not mean that oil is running out, it does mean that oil production has reached a maximum it also means that it will eventually start declining as well. All the increasing military actions the U.S. is taking in the Middle East and Africa are a desire to be in the lead when it comes to energy imperialism. As the oil situation tightens, the U.S.’s interest in energy imperialism increases and it seeks to expand into places like Saudi Arabia and any instability there could prompt military action so that America would have its oil. This new type of imperialism seems to be predominated by the U.S. The closer to the peak oil level and the disappearance of oil surplus leads to the U.S. going to greater and faster measures to ensure they can get as much as possible.

Since oil is so central in the existing capitalist economy it is important for the U.S. to ensure that its demands it. The U.S. is the one who is actively seeking the most oil to keep itself in the lead which has resulted in this new imperialism. It points out that a few wars already being fought today are a result of the fight over this diminishing energy supply. Russia, China, Iran and Central Asia are slated as other countries invested in the oil trade and the potential alliance between them and other oil states is something that the U.S. wants to avoid. This shows how the country is trying to dominate this important resource by using imperialistic tactics and going into other countries where oil is still in great supply by countering alliances are only a possibility at this time and not an actual reality. The article continues on to say that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear power is based on lowering exports of oil due to increasing domestic demands for energy, lack of growth and investment as well as depletion of the fields.

Article: Canada's Oil and Imperialism by Edward Harry Shaffer

Canada’s Oil and Imperialism by Edward Harry Shaffer goes into discussion of the history of oil and how Canada’s oil reserves are involved in the new energy imperialism. It talks about how oil imperialism involves acquiring and controlling oil in foreign lands and owning as much as is possible. It is also important to note that there is a difference between how America and Europe handle the oil they are in control of. The article goes on to say that Canada’s oil has a significant role in the scheme of things. As Canada is the only G8 member with a considerable oil reserve, it actually is placed at a great risk from other countries that would want to take advantage of this. As most oil firms working in Alberta are American owned, a majority of the oil is serving the U.S. more than the country it actually comes from. This could prove to be problematic when U.S. oil policies come into play and it could potentially damage U.S.-Canada relations. It points out that the U.S. imports two thirds of the oil it consumes which relates to the fact that Canada exports a large portion of the oil it produces. This makes the U.S. dependent on foreign oil and explains why the country is actively seeking ways to secure supplies of it. Since the U.S. is so dependent on foreign oil it is in danger of losing its power as a super-nation as it becomes vulnerable to the countries that control the most oil.

This article puts the ever increasing move towards energy imperialism into perspective especially in the case of Canadians. A key factor in Canada’s oil supply is the oil sands as that is where the most oil is though it is harder to extract and process than the conventional oil. This is the reason why the situation in Alberta depends on how the sands can be used. Although the oil situation so far is focused in the Middle East, there is still the possibility that it will eventually turn to such places as Canada. It also points to how the U.S. is a key figure in the oil race which fits with other sources which say the same thing and how America’s thirst for oil could potentially damage its relationships with other countries. Overall it provides good insights as to how important Canada’s oil is in the age of energy imperialism.