The U.S. and Canada: we used to be friends

Why Barack Obama shelved the Keystone pipeline, and insulted Canada (yet again) in the process

by Luiza Ch. Savage

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

No one was more surprised than TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. itself by the Obama administration’s decision to impose a fresh year or more delay on a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline—TransCanada’s proposed 2,673-km project that could transport more than 700,000 barrels of crude oil from the oil sands in Alberta to refineries in Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast of Texas. It had been heavily promoted by the governments of Canada and Alberta. And after two years of studies and drafts, the U.S. State Department had issued a final environmental assessment on Aug. 26 that had turned out to be even friendlier to the pipeline than supporters had been hoping for.

Indeed, the State Department concluded that there are “no significant impacts” to the environment along the route of the pipeline. The department also concluded that the pipeline would fill a need: even under a “low demand” outlook for oil, and even if there was increased fuel efficiency and a greater use of alternative energy sources, the hunger for Canadian crude oil would continue to grow among Gulf Coast refineries because supplies from countries such as Mexico and Venezuela are declining. Alternative transportation methods, such as trucking or rail, would add more emissions and run a higher risk of accidents than a pipeline. The project would not increase greenhouse gas emissions, State reasoned, because the oil would be produced for somebody to use in any case. And State also looked at 14 alternative routes and decided that none of them was preferable to the one proposed by TransCanada.

Then, little more than two months later, on Nov. 10, the State Department abruptly balked and declared the need for an additional study—one that would take a year or more—to look at an alternative pipeline route within the state of Nebraska that would avoid the Sand Hills area. That is a region of grass-covered sand dunes that covers a quarter of the state—and also Nebraska’s Ogallala aquifer, one of America’s largest underground sources of fresh water. The study is expected to delay a permit decision, which State had said would come by the end of December, until 2013. Had the project been approved on schedule, it could have started operating by then; the delay will push final approval for the project past the presidential election.

TransCanada was stunned. “We actually found out about it after others did,” company spokesperson Shawn Howard told Maclean’s. “It was a surprise. We thought the conclusions reached in the final environmental impact statement were pretty clear.” The company believed it had picked the best route. “The biggest issue was distance. This was the shortest route through that part of the state, and as a result it had the least amount of land disturbance and affected the fewest land-owners,” he said.

So what changed?

On one level, it looked like another in a long list of Obama White House affronts to Canada. The administration inserted protectionist “Buy American” language in the President’s jobs bill in September, despite Canada’s objections to similar language in his stimulus bill two years ago. The administration also ended an exemption for Canadians from a $5.50 travel fee to help offset the costs of a trade deal with Colombia. As well, talks on a much-hyped Canada-U.S. border accord have been dragging on inconclusively. Meanwhile, the world’s largest trading relationship continues to face a bottleneck at its busiest border crossing because the state of Michigan refuses to approve construction of a new bridge—which Canada calls its No. 1 infrastructure priority.

But in Washington, the pipeline decision looked less like a reflection of the state of what Canadians consider “The Relationship” between the two neighbours and more like another case of foreign collateral damage in an internal American power struggle. In this case, it was a hard-fought battle by environmentalists to put climate change back on the agenda of a President who had promised that his election would be “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal,” but then failed to deliver climate-change legislation. In short, the project was a casualty of the President’s effort to win back an important part of his political base ahead of the 2012 election.

In a moment of unprecedented unity and mobilization, environmental groups followed a two-pronged approach: protesting at the White House; and targeting the President’s re-election campaign by showing up at his public appearances, at his campaign headquarters in Chicago and at campaign offices around the country. Sure, some labour unions supported the pipeline, as did business groups, but no one made the issue their top priority quite like climate-change activists.

In August, some 1,250 activists from around the country had themselves intentionally arrested protesting in front of the White House. Then, on Sept. 2, Obama dealt them another blow when he told his Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw a proposed rule to tighten air quality standards, citing the fragile economy. The rule had been opposed by industry and Republicans, who said it would cost millions of jobs.

The oil sands pipeline now became a last stand.

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT CANADA’S PLAN B AFTER OBAMA SHELVED THE KEYSTONE XL

On Nov. 6, an estimated 12,000 people encircled the President’s residence in a human chain. “That was the biggest environmental protest at the White House I’ve ever seen in the more than 20 years that I’ve been doing this,” says Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of the international program at the National Resources Defense Council.

Although the environmental movement had been making its case to the administration all along, after the summer arrests, recalls Casey-Lefkowitz, they began to hear from “a new set of voices from within the administration who were taking an interest—from the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House. It was a new level of interest. They were starting to focus on this for the first time.”

Meanwhile, another political calculation was playing out in the rural areas of Nebraska, a Republican-dominated state where landowners and ranchers carry political power, and few would be voting for Obama. The ranchers, many of whom have had the same land in their families for generations, complained about heavy-handed treatment by TransCanada, of threats of using eminent domain—the government power to force private owners to sell their land for public use—and fears about groundwater contamination in the event of a spill.

TransCanada denied accusations of bullying, but the landowners’ voices carried weight. In Nebraska’s unique political culture, with its one-house legislature with only 49 members, these Republican donors had easy access to lawmakers and the governor, says political scientist Mark Landow of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The Republican governor, Dave Heineman, surprised many Nebraskans by coming out against the pipeline route—though he said he supports the project in principle. As for the state’s federal senators, both opposed the proposed route through the Sand Hills—and one of them, Ben Nelson, is a Democrat in a traditionally Republican seat. He is up for re-election next year, and his success could be crucial for Democratic hopes of retaining their slim majority in the U.S. Senate.

The pressure mounted until, on Oct. 24, the governor and the speaker of the legislature called for a special session to debate several bills to regulate pipelines, since Nebraska has no such state law on the books. That was a gamble: it was unclear whether any of the bills would pass. Filibusters and lawsuits were threatened. But the ploy worked. On Nov. 10, the State Department announced its delay and review. Then, on Monday, just as floor debate in the Nebraska legislature got under way, TransCanada reached a deal with Nebraska to reroute the project that included assurances from the speaker that any legislation would not be retroactively applied to the pipeline. “We stepped up and said, ‘Okay, we are in a new process now. We agree to move the route out of the Sand Hills,’ ” said Howard.

Where did the decision to delay the pipeline originate? Kerri Ann-Jones, the State Department official who announced the delay, told reporters in a conference call that the decision to extend the review was made by Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns in response to listening to the people of Nebraska, who have no state regulatory process for influencing where the pipeline would go. “This is not a political decision,” Jones said. “The White House did not have anything to do with this decision, except we consulted with them once we were moving toward it.”

But few people in Washington believe the White House had no hand in the delay. “It’s not the State Department doing the listening—it’s the White House, it’s the President. That’s why he’s showing good leadership,” says Casey-Lefkowitz.

Supporters of the pipeline also saw election year politics. “It was a cop-out to placate the environmental base of the Democratic party,” says David Wilkins, who served as U.S. ambassador to Canada under George W. Bush. “It was a decision to push it past the election.” Others agree. “I think Canadians should view it as political,” says Chris Sands, a specialist in Canada-U.S. relations at the Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank. “Who benefits? The President’s political campaign—he needs environmental groups to be energized, and he needs them to raise money so they can donate to his campaign.”

“It’s a domestic decision made for domestic reasons,” says Paul Frazer, a former Canadian diplomat who is a consultant in Canada-U.S. relations and whose past clients include Alberta. “It doesn’t reflect on the Canada-U.S. relationship. This is silly season in Washington. There is a sizable and well-organized environmental community that has been frustrated—Keystone XL for some of them was the Battle of the Alamo.”

Yet there persists a feeling in Canada that there has been a public relations failure in selling the pipeline. Only 36 days into her premiership, Alberta’s new premier, Alison Redford, was already in Washington this week, meeting with lawmakers and administration officials. She pledged to carry on a “more sophisticated” conversation about Alberta’s energy future and environmental stewardship. But Sands notes that previous premiers and provincial envoys had long been making Alberta’s case. “The problem was not the message, it was the hearers,” he says. “The hearers kept hearing ‘oil.’ We hear ‘oil’ and we hit the barricades on whatever side of the oil debate we are on.”

Casey-Lefkowitz says that no matter what public relations efforts Canada makes—or even what substantive steps Alberta or Ottawa take to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions or develop alternative energies—the pipeline will face opposition. “Even if you wave a magic wand and the tar sands are as clean as can be, it’s still not a part of our future. What we really need is to try to stop the expansion of tar sands.”

What next? Jones said the State Department will study a new alternative route within Nebraska, and issue a supplemental environmental-impact statement. But Casey-Lefkowitz says environmentalists will press for a fresh review of the entire project that would include not only local concerns in Nebraska but the bigger question of greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, Canada has already served notice that it will intensify efforts to find different markets for oil sands crude—notably China, which could be served with a new pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast.

And back in Nebraska, rerouting is unlikely to end the drama, says Landow. “If you move the pipeline to somebody else’s backyard, it’s going to cause a new set of people, a new set of landowners, a new set of state senators and a new set of activists to mobilize.”




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The U.S. and Canada: we used to be friends

  1. I believe it’s been said that if this pip line is built, it’s “game over” for the environment. For once the prolonged bureaucratic process might be a good thing.

    • Lots of things have been said.

    • I don’t think so.  I was a teen when a pipe line was ran across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Oh people were upset.  There were stories of how it would blowup and kill everyone.  Now, 40 yrs later, nothing has happened.  I am not saying we should be stupid.  I am sure there are very safe ways to use a pipe line.  Oil spills are NOT good anywhere, especially in the ocean.  But the reality is we use oil.  I would much rather see us buy oil from Canada than the Middle East.  Besides maybe some competition would bring down gas prices.

    • And how is it “game over” for the environment. Environmentalists have been catastrophizing about every pipeline for the past forty years. They’re still hoping they’ll be right someday. 

      • More than hoping, they prey for people to die in the next hurricane so they can say its the wrath of the SUV. A few years ago wasn’t there a greenie in Alberta who was blowing up gas pipelines so he could claim they were environmentally unfriendly?

        Environmentalists are truly environ-mental.

  2. The citizens of Canada and the USA will remain friends.

    This article is some misguided propaganda produced by some oil/money loving fool.

    What Obama did was too listen to the people of the USA.

    We have regions and oceans that have been destroyed in the search of “more oil”.

    Enough is enough!

    American citizens are against the TAR sands pipeline because we were crapped on by bp, Halliburton, and Nalco.

    We must be assured there will be no more environmental/human costs.

    Screw the oil companies, we want the clean alternatives.

    Besides… Obama is only doing what he needed to do to assure his re-election. I’m sure he’ll roll over for this oil company just like he did with bp as soon as the 2012 election is complete, if he remains in office.

    Maybe time would be better spent promoting the republican candidate that will get your oil company what they want.

    Good Luck with all that, but don’t blame the people for not wanting to be smeared in oil and corexit.

  3. “And back in Nebraska, rerouting is unlikely to end the drama, says Landow. “If you move the pipeline to somebody else’s backyard, it’s going to cause a new set of people, a new set of landowners, a new set of state senators and a new set of activists to mobilize.”
    That’s the key statement; the route chosen probably was the safest.  All the others cross more aquifers or go under lakes and across rivers.  If this route is unacceptable, the others are more so.  I’m beginning to think an Obama flip-flop after re-election is not so likely after all.

    • If Obama is re-elected he can do whatever he wants, he can’t run again. So yes he can reject the pipeline outright then, so they’ll just have to replace our oil with fellow commie Venezuelan oil. Won’t that be nice?

  4. We have never been friends.

    Countries don’t have friends, they have interests.

    • Your fucking right…..the north is too much of a better people to refer to you guys as friends

      • LOL ‘us guys’ is personally Canuck, dude.

  5. no mention at all of the:
    “State Department’s Office of the Inspector General will conduct an investigation into serious allegations that the Keystone approval process has been corrupted.”

    or even of the EPA’s assesment of the projet.

    Yellow Journalism

  6. Shipping oil to China via the west coast is just a bluff, it isn’t going to happen; not unless they agree to reroute through Vancouver or PR.  BC public opinion, FNs and environmental groups are dead set against it, and the oil companies and govt should know that by now.

    • This may be a stupid question, but why not take the oil out by ship from Hudson Bay to Europe? There would have to be big-time storage for when the bay is frozen over (or just run the pipeline half the year). But to the extent that the price of oil is fungible, it doesn’t matter where it enters the world market (it will just push some Russian, North African, and Middle East oil eastward). To the extent it is not fungible, it is still a substitute for lighter reserves that have pricing supported by the cartel.

      This may be a dumb comment as well, but Nebraska’s opposition may be a case of the environmental actvists targeting weak support. The Dakotas are trying to develope their own resources, Oklahoma has storage, and Texas has the port. The pipeline just passes through Nebraska. It may be a lack of support in Nebraska, rather than opposition that makes the environmental case appear strong. That aside, as an American, we prefer to live without work in the cold and dark.

  7. The failure of the Keystone project was predictable. For 30-years Alberta has done nothing about the environment, in fact it has trumpeted to its own population a great list of non-existant environmental accomplishments (less than 3-percent of utterly destroyed land has been recovered but 85 percent of advertisements mention the wonderful progress) leading outside observers to conclude the fix-is-in. While happily shielding Albertans from the problems all players were convinced by their own misrepresentations and were confident they, not the greater world, held the trump cards. Welcome to the 20th century Alberta, the rest of us are in the 21st. Give your heads a shake and start again. 

  8. TransCanada can try to deny it but American ranchers don’t generally side with environmentalists unless they are really angry.  If the company wasn’t completely socially tone deaf this would have gone through but they instead provoked the backbone of America and got what they deserved, and you shouldn’t threaten people who can shoot you legally if you steal a horse. Maybe next time they ask a favor from the American people, they should realize that they aren’t so stupid to not know when they are being condescended to and ask a little more nicely.

  9. This article is a bunch of nonsense!  Anyone who believes Trans Canada was surprised by the State Department’s decision is either not paying attention or has another agenda.  There has been loud and well documented opposition to the pipeline in Nebraska since it was first proposed, most of it based on real concerns rather than politics.  TCPL had an alternate route in its back pocket, indicating it knew all along there was a good possibility that t negative decision would come down.  In addition to all this TCPL and the entire corporate community are well aware that the Harper government set a new precedent to political decision making to over rule fact based decsion making when it ruled against the purchase of a potash company less than two years ago.  Harper made that decision based on the calculation that it would gain him votes in Western Canada and everyone should expect Obama to do the same in return.  No surpirses here. 

    And nobody in their right mind would consider moving the volumes of bitumen being considered here, by truck or rail.  It would NEVER have been considered by any serious technical advisor; only by folks wishing to create the idea that an alternative existed or to divert attention from the real issues. 

    The real issue related to this decision should be that the Alberta and Canadian government’s failed to recognize that their refusal to concede one inch to environmental concerns and to offer advertising campaigns instead, is not in the interests of Canadians or Albertans.  On top of that is that Harper’s decision making is all politics all the time and is not based on any other consideration.  The real surprise is that TCPL and various conservative governments appear suprised.  This journalist is just making excuses for them. 

  10. Uncle Sam, born in 1776 is nearing 239 years of age now, and is myopic and gone tone deaf. He is also energy-atherosclerotic and has a creeping national-dementia. 

    Politically geriatric, Uncle Sam still thinks he rules the world, but he can even get up on his own without ordering everybody around like the old days.America is toast, soon heading to a dictatorship. Canada, in energy priority, is somewhere between Venezuela and Iran in Amerika’s perception of importance. We are deemed a soft malleable cousin to abuse as needed.  
    Leadership form the POTUS to the super-committee is beyond dysfunctional. 

    I would say at this point they are in a well earned death spiral  

  11. After the disaster that the previous Republican administration brought to Canadian-American relations, it is the Democrat administration that insults us yet again?

    The writer/editor needs some perspective.

    Not to mention that a lot of Cdns, may be even a majority, don’t feel insulted that the U.S. turned thumbs down for now on Keystone.

    • What disaster was that? The Republicans ended the Canadian beef ban when the Dems in Congress wanted to continue it. Are you referring to Bush’s naming of Great Britain as the US’s new best friend? Hardly an insult. 

      • I guess you’re referring to the Democrats who supported the bill introduced by one of Montana’s Republican senators?

        But I digress, I was referring to the administration – the executive branch of the U.S. government. The one (in no particular order and off the top of my head) that:

        - repeated mentioned the wrong country (Mexico, Japan, China. . .) when talking about the U.S.’s largest trade partner;
        - forgot there are three countries in North America, not just Mexico and the U.S.;
        - repeatedly stated the 9-11 terrorists entered the U.S. through Canada;
        - abruptly cancelled a state visit to Canada;
        - quietly supported the softwood litigants in the U.S., while publicly saying there was nothing they could do;
        - forgot to publicly thank Canada for its 9-11 response;
        - and so on, and so forth…

        My point is Obama’s delay of the Keystone project hardly compares to the annoyances and aggravation of the previous administration.

  12. Loads of comments on this topic from Americans on the WSJ – politics before the economy.
     
    “Dear Canada,We apologize for our idiot President. You see, it’s not that he’s necessarily a bad guy — to the contrary — you’d probably enjoy watching hockey and having a beer with him. It’s just that he doesn’t understand how the economy works, or how jobs are created, or much else about anything except taxing and spending and spending and taxing. Yea, yea — we know. What were we thinking when we elected him? We’ve been wondering about that a lot lately too. In any case, please be patient: we’ll have this all sorted out by, say, November 2012 — when we can fire him.With kind regards,Your Neighbors”
     
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204190504577036651673907224.html#articleTabs%3Dcomments   

    • Sure go with Cain that’s my advise…more pizza’s just what America needs. On the other hand they could go with Perry, the guy who almost thought it a good idea to wind up the body that oversees nuclear regulation…that is if he could remember to say what he thought.
      Time to draft a bring back Sarah movement…they could hardly do worse. Of course it could be all a well ochestrated ploy to make the other guy look good…god i got a brain cramp…what was his name again? :)
      I thought Obama was done. Only the republicans are determined to prove otherwise.

      • With such slim pickings Obama will probably get in again – over $100 million in campaign donations and growing – and we bitch here about a tax deduction, lol

        • One thng Obama is doing a good job of – connvincing even liberals like me that the US has become a plutocracy. Harper’s vaunted war chest would get him a a 5 minute audience with o’reilly, if he was lucky.  

    • That just about sums it up. Don’t forget to not vote for Obama in 2012.

  13. For too long the conservative elites in Canada and the US have only talked to themselves (as opposed to talking down to others) and so convinced themselves that questions surrounding global warming could be safely “managed” via public relations rather that real actions.  This is why Harper saw the approval of the pipeline as as “slam dunk” and is why so many americans don’t trust them when it comes to questions of the environment and energy.
    Perhaps now they will realize that they will have to take real substantive actions to address global warming before people will believe anything that they say.  The time for pubic relations and spin is past.

  14. And the sycophant lunitic left here in Canada continues to cheer on Obama.

    Personal self-hatred and self-loathing can result from an inferiority complex.

  15. Thermal coal exports from the United States to China have exploded during the Obama years.  This dwarves the climate impact of Keystone XL.  You don’t see any American activists laying down on train tracks anywhere.  

    The majority of new oil found in the world, and most oil produced in California is “dirtier” than oil sands oil.

    • “the majority of new oil found in the world, and most oil produced in California is “dirtier” than oil sands oil”

      That’s absurd.  

      • Absurd? You’re sure?

        I’m not 100% sure, but that statistic does strike me as one of those statistics that is technically correct, yet doesn’t tell the whole story.

        • http://www.businessweek.com/ma

          No i’m not sure myself. This was offered further down thread and posits an interesting question as to whether the oil sands will eventually become uneconomic. I’m not particularly attached to any one view beyond the obvious damage to the land and water meted out by oil sands extraction, but some aspects strike me as being borderline insane eg, the use of a relatively clean fuel[gas] being wasted during insitu development, just because some market has declared it “cheap” right now. In my estimation[for what it is worth] we need to have business understand that rapidly depleting resources should be directed at enabling a changover to cleaner alternatives sooner rather than later, not when it merely suits their and their shareholders desire to maximize profit. IOWs if they wont willingly serve the commo good they’ll be made to.[through legislation and regulation of course]

          • Not sure why tar sands oil would ‘suddenly’ become uneconomic, at least not unless most/all other forms of fossil fuels are also becoming un-economic.

            I somewhat agree with you wrt using NG to operate the tar sands industry…the tar sands players could move themselves from having a high WTT CO2 emission rate to an essentially 0.0 WTT CO2 emission rate by getting together to develop a nuclear facility that would provide all of their steam, electricity and hydrogen needs. Not sure about the economics of such a facility (I suspect they aren’t great, but not as bad as you might initially guess), but it would sure put an end to the WTT CO2 emission concern.

            If ‘we’ (citizens of Canada or Alberta) want to make that happen we just need to structure the right financial incentives, and then let the market sort out the details.

            Similarly, wrt a rapidly depleting resource, I’ll argue that businesses are doing things exactly correctly…at this time they are maximizing their profits, which is really all that they should be doing. Again, if we, as citizens want to achieve some secondary objective (ie make the resource last longer) then we should create financial incentives to which businesses can respond.

          • I thought the article hinted at a natural ceiling for oil[ $125-150??] beyond which consumers would be willing to switch to other fuels. A sort of market carbon tax i supose. This would of course restrict oil industry future growth prospects.
            Where i think we may differ is not in objectives/ends but rather in means. The oil industry is heavily subsidized worldwide, partly for rational reasons – it is functional and efficient so why not subsidize it. However if that wasn’t a tough enough barrier to competion for renewables there is the question of why oil companies exist; you stated it, to make money. There’s a rather smart guy who sometimes appears in the star[ where i saw him anyway] who’s some kind of envro/economist. One arguement in particular of his stuck in my mind. That is this fiction that if we allow the markets to play out we’ll all make money and the oil companies will begin to see where their interests lie in eventually helping to bring about a new green technological age. So far the evidence suggests otherwise. Oil corps have contrbuted only enough finacially to alternatives to barely escape lip service, while using record profits to do what they do best – look for more oil. Increasingly this is in high risk ventures ie., Arctic exploration, fracking and oil sands. They’re all incredibly expensive and do little or nothing to further green technology, besides being environmentally toxic.
             Hell, there isn’t even a windfall tax. So, no i respectfully disagree. Either carry out these high risk expoloration without public subs or cough up windfall taxes - preferably carbon tax. But i bet if we threatened windfall taxes you’d see those guys suddenly carbon tax friendly - so that others can do the job. One thing that is often lost sight of in these debates is that these resources are publically owned and only leased or licensed to their extractors. We, the people are the ultimate stakeholders. We need to remember that.
            Somehow i managed to leave out what is for me an almost insuperable problem in our consumer society. That is we have to face the fact one of these days that we can’t afford our lifestyle, be it economically or in terms of our impact on our environment. How do we square that circle? Perversely we have place the consumer at the very heart of our economy. The contradiction is killing us; yet we can’t do without it. We must find a way to cut down on demand, not mindlessly ramp it up.

  16. Surely you people don’t think that postponing the XL pipeline will reduce US carbon emissions? The amount of oil consumed by the US won’t change, they’ll simply get oil supplied from soemwhere else.

    Lefty’s, they are so bad at math. Gad!

  17. Perhaps a good idea to rely less on the American economy and sperad our risk to other countries.

  18. Dear Canadians – It’s not us, it is our insane rulers in Washington DC that aren’t your friends. Like when Obama blocked Canada from a seat on the UN Security Council. They have insulted the UK half a dozen times too. Time for Defence Scheme No. 2 (google Defence Scheme No. 1 for background). The one group our ruler hates more than Canadians is the people of Arizona. He always punishes us and sues us all the time. We can’t even make our own laws anymore (with the exception animal control and tobacco age guidelines). He even reported us to UN once, as if we aren’t part of the United States. Of course, Canada had no seat at the Security council to defend us. We don’t even have a southern border, so in that sense we are not a state and they can do anything they want to us.

    Sorry for the rant. More seriously, can you please invade Arizona and make us a colony. You can burn down Washington DC again if you feel like it. If you choose not to conquer us, we will come there. See a primer on Arizona undocumented migration to Canada at http://www.disunderstand.com . Thank you in advance for attacking us.

    • You may want to rethink that – it is about – 30C outside my door right now. Anyhow t wasn’t You who lost us the seat[ first time ever] it was the Harper clowns in Ottawa.

      • Perhaps we need to re-evaluate, but we we’re all planning on sneaking into Vancouver not Yellowknife. That said, our preferred solution remains a Canadian attack and conquest of Arizona. Our ancient mythology tells us of a hearty people to the north with a sound banking system and leaders who tell the truth often enough that they may believed some of the time. If you accommodate us just once more by invading us, you will not be disappointed.

  19. cut the americans out… build our own refineries.  make new contracts to ship the oil elsewhere after production…. they don’t like our softwood contracts so let them do their own thing…

  20. ever since 9/11/2001 the US closed itself off to everybody

  21. When everything is said and done, more has been said than done. 

  22. The fact that he mentioned scrapping NAFTA during the campaign was the first indicator that Obama was not going to make the US/Canada relationship a priority.  Judging from the reversal of missile defense in eastern Europe, the many various snubs of the UK and Israel, and now the reversal on this oil pipeline, Obama seems to place a very low value on US alliances relative to pressure from left-leaning lobby groups.  

    Unfortunate, but entirely expected by those not caught up in the Obama-hype in 2008.

  23. Its very important for US to realize that what they are doing just to draw Canada back is going to harm them because God bless Canada and Canada will always be growing more and more. I’m wondering why the Washington decision are not to grant the best ideas of the Canadian Oil producers of making the pipelines and also to construct the bridge to ease the bottleneck. I know US Obama Administration are never willing to help any nation grow BUT I know Canada is going to grow far more then they even thought. Obama Administration is a disgrace and they have spoil it cordial relationship with Canada. Just look at Canada a good and best place to live in the world with economy, business etc prospering.  read this: Washington’s decision to temporarily shelve the Keystone XL project has Canadian companies rushing
    to redraw the pipeline map. Enbridge announced plans to reverse the
    direction in which crude oil flows in the Seaway pipeline connecting
    Oklahoma to Texas in order to send more oil from Midwestern refineries
    to those on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Keystone godfather TransCanada, on the
    other hand, wants to start building the southern leg of the pipeline,
    also linking Oklahoma to Texas. Both projects aim to reduce the pressure
    on a bottleneck of crude in the U.S. Midwest that’s been building up
    for a year. Why are Canada’s majors so eager to build pipelines to the
    Gulf? Andrew Leach, a professor of natural resources, energy, and
    environment at the University of Alberta’s Alberta School of Business, 

  24. I suspect the EPA already knew Obama was going to delay the agreement so had nothing to lose by filing a “friendly” report.

    Question to Rogers: why isn’t Obama in the site’s dictionary?

  25. It’s funny to see the American administration making the right decision for Canadians when the Harper government won’t. Exporting crude is just plain bad economics. Always has been, always will be.

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