For those worried about oil sands development in Alberta in Canada and what they will do to the climate and environment, they might also have to start worrying about events closer to home.

Analysts say the lower 48 U.S. states contain enough heavy crude oil deposits to power the economy for several years.

MegaWest Energy Corp, the Calgary, Alberta-based firm, run from Houston, has been snatching up acreage in the U.S. and wants to prove heavy oils can be produced economically. The company is already leasing some 115,000 acres in the lower 48 U.S. states.

George Stapleton, president and CEO of MegaWest, said it’s easier than ever to make a business case for extracting heavy crudes, of which he argues are about 155 billion barrels of that type of resource in the United States, of which 75 billion is extractable.

The company is also hoping to play the energy security trump card is pushing for development “This is another piece that we probably need to look at developing because it’s in our backyard. We can control it. And anything we can do to trim our import requirements probably helps,” says Stapleton.

It doesn’t help the fight against climate change though..