Friday, January 31, 2014

U.S. State Department does not object to TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline

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.

1 comment:

  1. This has been and will continue to be an endurance wrestling match, getting our "sandy oil" in the pipeline to the big guzzlers in the U.S. It is part of a North American self-reliant subsistence initiative which will eventually become a fact of life, overcoming obstacles of zealous environmentalists and U.S. oil baron protectionists. The simple equation tells us that we have the resources, so let's tap them, distribute them, and use them. It will happen, just like metric conversion, and that one didn't even make any sense. This will be a stimulant to our economies and make foreign oil less attractive to capitalism and far less worth dying for. Obama has proven to be more of a puppet of the military-industrial power complex than his right-wing predecessors, at least in terms of contradictory practices of U.S. expansionism and protectionism. He is definitely NOT a subscriber to a North American vision which includes Canada, but I think he'll come around, whether he wants to or not.