The Canadian Press reports “the [U.S.] State Department raised no major environmental objections” to the proposed construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada through Montana and South Dakota before reaching Nebraska, from which oil would travel via existing lines through Kansas and Oklahoma and on to Texas.
Keystone XL must be the most studied pipeline of all time in any country. It also represents a blatant example of the disrespect, perhaps contempt, with which Canada is held by some quarters in Washington. A recent campaign by American environmentalists implies our oil sands is controlled by China and that our bitumen is destined for that country.
This is far from the truth, of course. Investment by the U.S. and the U.K. far outpaces that from China, and Canadian oil is overwhelmingly consumed by Americans. But truth is always the first casualty in any battle with our “friends” south of the border.
There is a huge financial advantage to American players, of course, if our oilsands products cannot reach markets outside the United States. As things stand, Canadian oil sells at a significant discount—some claim this may be as high as 50% of the world price. So the current de facto embargo imposed by Present Obama on the oilsands by holding up or rejecting the Keystone XL oil pipeline is benefitting players in the U.S.
One wonders, then, weather this latest State Department study will change Obama’s mind and get his, at least, grudging approval. Of course, approval will take many months more as the Environmental Protection Agency and other U.S. government departments now have 90 days to comment on and delay/obstruct the report.
Obama may be many things, but a friend of Canada he clearly is not.