Canadian ambassador: Rejection of Keystone XL would “definitely strain” diplomatic relations
posted at 1:21 pm on February 10, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
No kidding. Canada doesn’t exactly tend to rile easily, but there are only so many years of flagrant abuse and neglect they can take when their interests are clearly being put on the backburner in favor of assuaging the well-monied environmentalist lefties that have managed to turn the otherwise innocuous infrastructure project into a political firestorm. Via National Journal:
Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. isn’t sugarcoating the diplomatic weight of the looming White House decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Gary Doer told the news service Platts that he’s optimistic about winning approval, while warning that rejection would be “perceived as being political” and “definitely strain” U.S.-Canadian relations. He argued that the project has met the various U.S. benchmarks, citing the State Department’s environmental analysis released Jan. 31.
“The report basically says that [oil from Alberta’s oil sands] either will come down on rail with higher GHGs, and it is now coming down on rail, or it can come down on a pipeline with less GHGs,” he told Platts Energy Week TV, using the acronym for greenhouse gases.
“So I guess I would say, based on this report and based on the president’s own stated [climate] criteria, that if the project is rejected it would be perceived as being political and not on the basis of the public interest of the United states and Canada,” Doer added in the interview that aired Sunday.
“Strained,” to say the least. A plurality of the United States’ imported oil comes form Canada, a lot of it via already-existing pipelines, but if President Obama really doesn’t want to let them build another one, he could have told them that two or three years ago and saved everybody a lot of grief. Canada could have already gotten to work building another pipeline to their west coast to transport more of it to Asia — although Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper still maintains that Keystone XL will eventually be built one way or another.
“It is, in my judgment, a necessary and inevitable victory,” Harper said in a Jan. 16 interview as he awaited a State Department environmental assessment of the project. “I absolutely believe that. I can’t see how it will be otherwise.”
“It takes a lot of energy to repress and to block a decision that is clearly and overwhelmingly in the national interest of the country,” he said.
Harper has been openly critical of Obama for repeatedly “punting” on Keystone and interfering with a long-standing and mutually beneficial energy relationship forged in war and codified in peace.