The Obama administration finally pulled the trigger on a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, and while very few were surprised at the President’s thumbs-down, many were disappointed.
The proposed line, which would actually be a twinning/extension of an existing one, would take raw bitumen from Alberta’s abundant oil sands down to the Gulf Coast of Texas to be refined.
The arguments have all been played out on both sides of the issue. Anti-oil sands environmentalist groups, backed by outspoken yet unknowledgeable (and hypocritical) eco-celebs grabbed the media spotlight with their protests. Pro-groups, including a large portion of Obama’s base support – unions – encouraged the President to approve the pipeline.
Ultimately, Obama killed the Keystone, which has now set off a firestorm of debate and controversy as to the ‘why’. EnviroNazi’s are of course cheering, claiming that Obama heeded their dire warnings of inevitable environmental disasters that would certainly be caused by the transfer of ‘dirty oil’ from Alberta’s ‘tar sands’.
White House spin doctors have thrown several excuses out to the public, blaming the Republicans (shock!) for not allowing enough time to ‘assess’ and ‘study’ the project. Interesting they didn’t demand more time to ‘assess’ ObamaCare before ramming it through.
Maybe the silliest statement from the Obama team was their claim that there are more jobs in unemployment by extending government handouts than there would be created from the Keystone. In other words, Obama would rather pay people not to work than see Americans employed (please – please remember that in November!).
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the decision ‘disappointing’. Alberta’s energy sector is the engine that runs the national economy, and this move certainly will have an impact not just economically, but in the realm of international relations.
Many Canadians see Obama’s rejection of the pipeline as a virtual slap-in-the-face. Given the choice of nations the United States has to import oil from – nations such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Sudan, led by vicious dictators and regimes where there are no real environmental regulations not to mention little by way of human rights, or from Canada, America’s closest ally and trading partner which has stringent eco-rules and is a proud liberal democracy with an excellent human rights record – the message is loud and clear.
Barack Obama would rather buy oil from Hugo Chavez than from Stephen Harper. He chose blood oil from the Sudan and Iran over an ethical oil source from Alberta. No amount of spin or double-talk will shade the fact that Obama gave the finger to Canada while bowing to the Saudi King.
Years ago the death of such a pipeline would create damage to the Canadian economy. However, the Harper government has already started their plan to diversify our energy markets. We won’t be handcuffed by political decisions made by a foreign leader. If Obama doesn’t want to buy our oil, China will.
So while this is an obvious disappointment, the fact is the repercussions of the Keystone rejection will be felt more by the U.S. than by Canada. Canadians will, eventually, enjoy the jobs created by increasing our bitumen exports. We will still reap the financial benefits. Meanwhile, the United States will continue to struggle with outrageous unemployment numbers and a stumbling economy, and a president who turned his back on America’s closest ally.
If there were any doubts as to where Barack Obama’s allegiance was, this certainly puts those to rest.