A recent paper co-authored by two Baker Institute Rice scholars encourages the United States to support the development of oil sands in Canada. Dagobert Brito, Peterkin Professor of Political Economy, and Robert F. Curl, Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor Emeritus of Natural Sciences and professor emeritus of chemistry, write that increased oil trade with Canada would decrease the U.S. trade deficit, while also creating jobs in the U.S. petrochemical industry. Canadian oil would also provide a secure energy source for the United States in the future.

Brito and Curl also allay concerns about additional carbon dioxide emissions from the use of the sands. With the rise of gas as an energy source, coal usage will be reduced, along with any of the carbon emissions released from its production. Ultimately, they say, the benefits of Canadian oil sand development to the United States outweigh the risks.