Canadian PM: Keystone quid pro quo, Mr. Obama?

posted at 5:31 pm on September 7, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Last June, President Obama insisted in a speech that his administration still-pending approval of the Keystone XL pipeline “requires finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest, and our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effect of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.” …Which is a pretty lame punt, because as I noted earlier this week, the energy industry can and currently is finding different ways to bring their oil to market. The Keystone pipeline would still be a better, more efficient way to do it, but if that’s not to be, you can bet companies that stand to make a profit will still be moving that oil. Ergo, disapproving the pipeline will not prevent Canada from developing their resources, and net carbon emissions aren’t really the major factor here that the eco-radicals pretend they are.

As I say, though, the Keystone pipeline will save everyone a lot of money and headaches, and the Canadians are understandably way past impatient with the Obama administration’s eternal dithering. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper actually wrote to President Obama last week, wondering if they mightn’t work out a tit-for-tat of some kind:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama formally proposing “joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector,” if that is what’s needed to gain approval of the Keystone XL pipeline through America’s heartland, CBC News has learned.

Sources told CBC News the prime minister is willing to accept targets proposed by the United States for reducing the climate-changing emissions and is prepared to work in concert with Obama to provide whatever political cover he needs to approve the project.

The letter, sent in late August, is a clear signal Canada is prepared to make concessions to get the presidential permit for TransCanada Corp.’s controversial $7-billion pipeline, which will connect the Alberta oilsands to refineries in Texas.

But there’s a huge snag. Obama hasn’t said what he wants, or needs, to assuage environmentalists that Keystone XL is in America’s national interest, or to convince congressional Democrats facing re-election next year that it can be approved without sabotaging their campaigns.

And the White House has yet to respond to the letter.

And if they do respond, it’ll probably be the same old wishy-washy beating around the bush with which we are by now woefully accustomed. Yes, President Obama is going to need a lot of political cover if he ever approves this thing, but if he can just keep delaying it and pretending that his administration is still deliberating and completely avoid even having to deal with it at all before the 2014 midterms, why wouldn’t they?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The Keystone XL pipeline is good for white Christians (and all Americans), but bad for Saudi despots. So… dither, dither, dither.

Jeddite on September 7, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Quid pro quo? More like cui bono.

0 retains support of the watermelons by denying the pipeline, even though it is a thoroughly stupid decision to continue to block it.

iurockhead on September 7, 2013 at 5:40 PM

If Canada wishes to sell all of its shale oil to China, or Japan or anyone else but the United States, I would applaud that decision.

Obama has dithered, kicked the can around, delayed a decision to the benefit of no one save for himself and his DoE cronies. Billions for wind turbines, and billions for solar panels…not one cent for providing a secure source of energy and providing real jobs to thousands upon thousands of Americans.

So, go ahead Canada.

You take care of your own. No hard feelings from this American.

Obama does not want Keystone.

He is just too much of a p***y to say it out loud.

But, you already knew that.

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

How many more train wrecks will it take. Trying to go after Syria for less.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

If only they could hold out for three years.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

If only they could hold out for three eleven years.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

The next President will also oppose it. We’re nowhere near the point of separating the low-information voters and the fraud (though I repeat myself) from the Rats.

Steve Eggleston on September 7, 2013 at 5:47 PM

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Based on the existence of this letter, Harper does not know that and thinks Obama is persuadable. I’m sure he’ll figure it out eventually though.

Fenris on September 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Steve Eggleston on September 7, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Kill me now.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

He should know not to trust Obama.

Mimzey on September 7, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Harper does not have three years. Neither does Canada. It is costing them money every day that the oil is not headed for market. Tons of money.

We may not have three years either.

We can muddle…not gonig to be pleasant. Might be very difficult.

But Canada can do what Canda needs to do for her benefit, first and foremost.

Besides…IF Obama approved Keystone tonight, it would soon be bound up with all sorts of restrictions and rules and such as to make it impossible to build anyway.

Look at what President “All of the Above” and his DoE has done with the domestic coal industry…and the nuke industry. Regulated both to the point that we are closing coal fired electric plants wholesale and we are shutting down nuke plants almost once a month for the past several months.

In the meantime, we are spending tons, tons of money to keep solar and wind alive…no matter what the cost or the lack of real benefit to the consumers.

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Kill me now.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Never.

Bmore on September 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Until Canada can find a way around the greedy pig Warren Buffett, nothing will move forward.

slickwillie2001 on September 7, 2013 at 5:55 PM

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 5:53 PM

I won’t blame Canada for doing what is in the best interests. Good grief, The Won is a cluster delete expletive.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Yes, President Obama is going to need a lot of political cover if he ever approves this thing, but if he can just keep delaying it and pretending that his administration is still deliberating and completely avoid even having to deal with it at all before the 2014 midterms Teh SCOAMT leaves the Oval Office on January 20, 2017, why wouldn’t they?

ReWrite™ engaged for accuracy. Team SCOAMT is hoping to continue to freeze TransCanada into inaction because they don’t want anybody to have that oil. Of course, if they’re forced into action, they’d rather have the ChiComs get it than us.

Steve Eggleston on September 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Bmore on September 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

We can still hold out hope for the island.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM

…BHO…POS!
.
.
.
.

Kill me now.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

…love you too much!

KOOLAID2 on September 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM

I won’t blame Canada for doing what is in the best interests. Good grief, The Won is a cluster delete expletive.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM

In this case, AllenG’s version of the “T” (Traitor) is the more-appropriate ending to Stuttering ClusterFluke Of A Malignant T…, though I still like the Tyrant ending.

Steve Eggleston on September 7, 2013 at 5:58 PM

We can still hold out hope for the island.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Exactly. ; )

Bmore on September 7, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Kill me now.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

We need you present in the Gulch.

Steve Eggleston on September 7, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Until Canada can find a way around the greedy pig Warren Buffett, nothing will move forward.

slickwillie2001 on September 7, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Exactly.

catsandbooks on September 7, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Why are we still kow towing to the greenies. AGW is not happening. Even Australia, now that they have thrown the libruls out, and getting out of the carbon business.

Canada, you and the rest of the world can not depend on The United States for anything. Sell your oil to china. Don’t get into any goat rope agreement with our executive branch of liars. Whatever you do, don’t follow our lying, incompetant president into Syria. If he can’t get something as simple as the keystone pipeline right, what makes you think he has the sense to pour pee out of a boot with instructions on the heel.

One good thing is apparent now, the libruls and unions have dumbed down the American pubic to the point where even our president has an average intelligence.

Old Country Boy on September 7, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Can we simply trade Obama and the Chicago Bulls to Canada for Harper and, say, Steve Nash?

ShainS on September 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Paint the damn the green. Voila! A green energy project.

Flange on September 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Can we simply trade Obama and the Chicago Bulls to Canada for Harper and, say, Steve Nash?

ShainS on September 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Quick, someone go to Hawaii and get a ‘Certificate of a Live Birth’ for Harper!

slickwillie2001 on September 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

If Canada wishes to sell all of its shale oil to China, or Japan or anyone else but the United States, I would applaud that decision.

You take care of your own. No hard feelings from this American.

Obama does not want Keystone.

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Yes, and with Japan’s current nuclear woes, they’d probably be interested in some oil. No hard feelings from this american either, Mr. Prime Minister. Your only responsibilities are to your own citizens.

oldleprechaun on September 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Canada should offer to help protect Obama’s personal pride by backing him in a Syrian strike.

“What red line eh?”

Oxymoron on September 7, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Your only responsibilities are to your own citizens.

oldleprechaun on September 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

And to protect Syria.

Flange on September 7, 2013 at 6:26 PM

KOOLAID2 on September 7, 2013 at 5:56 PM

love you right back.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 6:28 PM

We need you present in the Gulch.

Steve Eggleston on September 7, 2013 at 5:59 PM

…it’s still thriving!

KOOLAID2 on September 7, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I forget: is it okay if I say that Obama is a f*ckhead?

PD Quig on September 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM

where even our president has an average intelligence.

Old Country Boy on September 7, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Are you sure about that? I’m not convinced it is even average.

chemman on September 7, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Quick, someone go to Hawaii and get a ‘Certificate of a Live Birth’ for Harper!

slickwillie2001 on September 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Heh — well played …

ShainS on September 7, 2013 at 6:45 PM

I forget: is it okay if I say that Obama is a f*ckhead?

PD Quig on September 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM

…I can get that blessed!

KOOLAID2 on September 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Jeddite on September 7, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Wrong country, it’s Venezuela that blocking it helps. Similar TYPE of crude oil.

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

No TIGHT shale oil, but instead from sands. Big difference between shale oil & tight shale oil, big difference. Sands are not even close to the same as either.

slickwillie2001 on September 7, 2013 at 5:55 PM

It will takes several years to build enough tank cars and additional railroads to ship 700,000 BPD by rail, and it is less economical than just getting it by ship from Venezuela.

Canada has problems getting oil to the West Coast due the freaking “First Nations” bullsh**. With the envirowhackos aiding and abetting them. Pipelines to the West Coast were announced and Keystone XL was announced after those plans were cancelled due all the legal obstacles.

Kermit on September 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM

I forget: is it okay if I say that Obama is a f*ckhead?

PD Quig on September 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM

“Under the First Amendment, you have the right to free speech — unless that speech is anti-Muslim.” — Constitutional Scholar moonlighting as POTUS

So, NO — it’s not okay …

ShainS on September 7, 2013 at 6:51 PM

And Kermit, the irony is that First Nations people are among THE biggest employees of Canada’s oil industry, in the oil sands in particular. They can make six figures a year.

Any readers who want to catch up on all the details of Keystone etc should check out Ezra Levant’s always-entertaining and education TV segments, in which he castigates Obama mercilessly.

It is joy to watch!

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/featured/prime-time/867432237001/americas-keystone-cop/2572833302001

Ezra’s book Ethical Oil is a good read as well.

Kathy Shaidle on September 7, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Harper does not have three years.

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Sort of true. He won the first Conservative party majority in ’11 and he doesn’t have to declare another election until 2015. I for one will vote for him again! :)

cableguy615 on September 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM

How many more train wrecks will it take. Trying to go after Syria for less.

Cindy Munford on September 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

As many as needed to wipe out the founding Christian principles that America was founded on…..

We just need to stay strong for 1157 days, 16 hours, 1 minute, 48 seconds…….

http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/to?iso=20161108T07&p0=611&msg=Countdown+until+Obama+is+OUT+OF+OFFICE

redguy on September 7, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Can we simply trade Obama and the Chicago Bulls to Canada for Harper and, say, Steve Nash?

ShainS on September 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Forget it pal ! We’ll give you the Barenaked Ladies tho! ;)

cableguy615 on September 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM

…oh and throw in Justin Bieber too if you like!

cableguy615 on September 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

I forget: is it okay if I say that Obama is a f*ckhead?

PD Quig on September 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM

No. And I am pretty sure the lefturds will call you …..ummm…..what’s that word ? Starts with R ????

cableguy615 on September 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Kermit on September 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM

I stand corrected…significant difference between oil shale and oil sands…big big difference.

I collect old National Geographic’s…going back to the earliest 1900′s…it would take some searching, but I have one that I re-read recently hailing the Athabasca oil sands and the patent on steam recovery back in 1926, or so…saying the Athabasca oil sands would fill all of North America’s oil needs for decades to come.

Jump ahead to the early 1970′s…and energy independence was the theme of the day…we, North America, were going to be energy independent by 1980.

Jump ahead to the early 2000′s…when “drill here drill now” was a popular rallying cry…and we were old by all the progressives that it would take a decade or more to get a benefit even if we started drilling “today.” Green energy, wind, solar, whatever,was going to put us energy independent almost immediately…if only government invested in it…

What happened?

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

cableguy615 on September 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

The Bare Naked Ladies, we can tolerate.

Justin Bieber? Would you please, please, take him back!!!

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 7:10 PM

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 7:10 PM

LOL ! Ok Cold ! Can’t blame me for trying tho ! :D

cableguy615 on September 7, 2013 at 7:16 PM

The Keystone XL still seems like a dumb idea to me.
1. The US refineries in the Rust belt have to be supplied from somewhere, right now PA, MD refineries are being supplied by ship or train. It makes more sense to supply them by pipe. Don’t know where OH & MI refineries get there crude, but it’s not from nearby.
2. TX has and ocean of crude sitting off shore, the BP Horizon mess proved that, they don’t need crude from Canada.
3. Some tar sand crude is going to IN & IL refineries, they could use more.

So why do we want to pump crude from Canada to TX, then pump product from TX to the rust belt/New England ?? While all the while using trains to feed our rust belt refineries?? Wasn’t the recent train crash of crude oil a message, does anyone want a crash like that in their neighborhood???

KenInIL on September 7, 2013 at 7:53 PM

KenInIL on September 7, 2013 at 7:53 PM

You have a lot of misunderstanding about crude oil & refineries.

1. “Rust Belt” refineries have spent Billions of Dollars each to enable them to refine Canadian crude. It gets there via pipeline, not so much by rail. It ain’t that easy to do. East Coast refineries are ALL configured for light sweet crude such as that from North Sea, Libya, and West Africa. So most are shutdown with several already having been demolished in the last 3 years.

2. Gulf Coast (TX & LA) refineries (actually a dozen major refineries) several which are for heavy and very heavy crude NOT for light sweet crude which they cannot make the products they are built to produce. So it’s either crude oil from Canada or from Venezuela to run them. You want us to give Hugo’s heirs more money?

3. the rail is really from Bakken, not Canada. Completely different types of crude oil.

NOT ALL CRUDE OIL IS THE SAME OR FOR THE SAME PRODUCTS. BURN THAT INTO YOUR BRAIN.

Kermit on September 7, 2013 at 8:28 PM

The Canadian PM’s first mistake was in believing that King Obama WANTS TO MAKE A DECISION.

His entire career has been based on putting off decisions.

Or as King Barry is want to say: PRESENT!

GarandFan on September 7, 2013 at 8:33 PM

I’m sure Warren Boofay is expecting a return on his substantial campaign investment in O’Barky…

… which, of course, means no pesky competition for Union Pacific oil transport by any pesky Keystone pipelines.

viking01 on September 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Kermit on September 7, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Your point about Gulf Coast refineries already taking Venezuelan crude is well-taken, but got me thinking.

Based on what you wrote, wouldn’t it make more sense for a pipeline from Canada to route to the “Rust Belt” refineries that have already reconfigured to accept heavy crude, as opposed to shipping it instead directly to the Gulf which, as you note, already has a source of the stuff from Venezuela?

Looked at from that perspective, Keystone just looks like a play to give Gulf Coast refineries more leverage, as opposed to actually improving U.S. national energy security.

HTL on September 7, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Looked at from that perspective, Keystone just looks like a play to give Gulf Coast refineries more leverage, as opposed to actually improving U.S. national energy security.

HTL on September 7, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Should it be the job of the government to decide which refineries get which crude, and whether a refinery should have more or less ‘leverage’?

slickwillie2001 on September 7, 2013 at 9:58 PM

I’m surprised some enterprising individual hasn’t built an oil terminal, and bought a fleet of trucks. to just transport this stuff to refineries. Better yet, build a refinery on the Canadian border and sell the stuff directly. I know, the EPA will permit the thing to death, but at least we’ll know what the Administration really thinks of an approach that encompasses all ideas.

bflat879 on September 7, 2013 at 10:26 PM

President Present. He couldn’t manage a lemonade stand if it meant someone prospered from it.

jaywemm on September 7, 2013 at 10:26 PM

The Canadian PM’s first mistake was in believing that King Obama WANTS TO MAKE A DECISION.

His entire career has been based on putting off decisions.

Or as King Barry is want to say: PRESENT!

GarandFan on September 7, 2013 at 8:33 PM

His second mistake is believing that Obama would actually hold up his end of any bargain that the two entered into, if it were politically expedient for Obama to break the deal.

Gator Country on September 7, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Should it be the job of the government to decide which refineries get which crude, and whether a refinery should have more or less ‘leverage’?

slickwillie2001 on September 7, 2013 at 9:58 PM

In general, not. The market would normally work that out.

But in the current complicated environment, I would want to know why transporting the crude further apparently makes more economic sense, given that there is qualified refining capacity closer to hand. Why does double-shipping to the Gulf, and then back up to consumers, make more sense than shipping to refineries in the Midwest and distributing directly from there?

On a strictly objective (both environmental and economic) basis, shipping oil a shorter distance from source to refinery, and from refinery to commercial distribution, makes perfect sense. I would want to know why Keystone is apparently violating this basic principle.

HTL on September 8, 2013 at 12:05 AM

HTL on September 7, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Keystone was built (not Keystone XL) to supply much of that crude from Canada, plus there are others already in existence.

They were already getting syncrude from the upgraders which takes strip mined tar sands, remove it and reconstitute it into syncrude, which is similar to a light sweet crude like Bakken. However, the deeper tar sands have several horizontal wells drilled parallel into them. One has steam injected and the others produce a very thick crude oil about like black wax shoe polish.

The type of oil being pumped through pipelines such as Keystone & several others is a blend of syncrude and produced very heavy crude, so that it can be pumped. Conoco Phillips spent $4 Billion to configure it’s Wood River, IL (across the river from St. Louis) refinery and had the Keystone built to supply it with such a blended crude. Marathon spent over $2 Billion for its Detroit refinery, BP spent $3 Billion for its Lima OH refinery, etc… Citgo’s Lamont, IL refinery was already configured to receive a heavy crude blend from LOOP (Louisiana Offshore Oil Port) the only supertanker port in the Continental U.S., via the St. James, LA terminal and Capline Pipeline which has a 1.2 million barrel per day capacity.

A number of smaller pipelines have been reversed or switched from natural gas to oil and then reversed to ship to the Gulf Coast refining complexes in TX & LA where close to 50% of oil is refined in the U.S.

Kermit on September 8, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Paint the damn the green. Voila! A green energy project.

Flange on September 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Actually, the pipe is painted green.

trigon on September 8, 2013 at 1:39 AM

If Canada wishes to sell all of its shale oil to China, or Japan or anyone else but the United States, I would applaud that decision.

Obama has dithered, kicked the can around, delayed a decision to the benefit of no one save for himself and his DoE cronies. Billions for wind turbines, and billions for solar panels…not one cent for providing a secure source of energy and providing real jobs to thousands upon thousands of Americans.

So, go ahead Canada.

You take care of your own. No hard feelings from this American.

coldwarrior on September 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM

I’d really rather sell it to you than the commies, bro.

God Bless America. God Save The Queen.

Alberta_Patriot on September 8, 2013 at 3:28 AM

Correction: God Bless the Queen, God save America.

Alberta_Patriot on September 8, 2013 at 3:29 AM

Yes, President Obama is going to need a lot of political cover if he ever approves this thing, but if he can just keep delaying it and pretending that his administration is still deliberating and completely avoid even having to deal with it at all before the 2014 midterms, why wouldn’t they?

Didn’t read thru the comments so this may be redundant but
isn’t this the same tactic he used after the attack in Benghazi??
Why answer his critics(LSM)when he can run and hide on the campaign trail,never to be asked a serious question about it.
Sorry excuse for a CIC(child in chief).

Neal4007 on September 8, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Alberta_Patriot on September 8, 2013 at 3:29 AM

+100

coldwarrior on September 8, 2013 at 10:24 AM

He makes me sick to my stomach along with his whole admin. Reuters has a story that Kerry sent a love letter to France and he wrote it in French. Big deal. They belong together. Kerry the traitor should move to a country that has a habit of waving the white flag.

crosshugger on September 8, 2013 at 2:30 PM