Canada Looks to China After Obama Denies U.S. Permit for Keystone XL Pipeline
|January 20, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Issues|
Canada’s Prime Minister Steven Harper has expressed his ‘profound disappointment’ in Obama’s decision to deny permits for TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline to be shared with the United States. Harper has said it seems to be best for Canada to look at diversifying. At this point Canada and the United States partner on most of the imports and exports of crude. Instead of putting all their eggs in the United States’ basket, they’ll look to China.
President Barack Obama’s decision yesterday to reject a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline may prompt Canada to turn to China for oil exports.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a telephone call yesterday, told Obama “Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to details provided by Harper’s office. Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said relying less on the U.S. would help strengthen the country’s “financial security.”
The “decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa.
Currently, 99 percent of Canada’s crude exports go to the U.S., a figure that Harper wants to reduce in his bid to make Canada a “superpower” in global energy markets.
Canada accounts for more than 90 percent of all proven reserves outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to data compiled in the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Most of Canada’s crude is produced from oil-sands deposits in the landlocked province of Alberta, where output is expected to double over the next eight years, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
“I am sure that if the oil sands production is not used in the United States, they will be used in other countries,” Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said in an interview before a speech at Imperial College in London today.
Is Obama putting his own job security ahead of the national interest of the United States. What happens if Canada decides to build the Keystone XL Pipeline to their west coast – and on to Asia – to be refined instead of through the United States? Do the radical environmentalists really think that China will refine that oil more cleanly than the United States? Or perhaps they just will feel better about themselves that they accomplished something. But what will they and Barack Obama have accomplished?
Losing the Keystone XL Pipeline will further weaken America’s standing in the world. Tens of thousands of American jobs will be lost. The American economy will lose an excellent opportunity to help jump-start our faltering economy. Gas prices will rise. Meanwhile, Canada will develop stronger bonds with China and China’s economy and global standing will continue to grow. Ironically, whatever damage might (or might not) be done to the environment will be worse because China’s regulations are no where near as stringent as those in place in the United States.
There really isn’t an upside to losing the opportunity for the United States to participate in the Keystone XL Pipeline. Yet Obama is willing to do just that in hopes of getting the environmentalists votes for his re-election. Where is the hope and change in that?
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