Pity poor Ed Stelmach, the premier of Alberta. Although Canada’s constitution gives the provinces jurisdiction over natural resources—Albertans own the oil sands, for example—environmental regulation and international relations are federal matters. So when Stelmach caught wind of a pending visit to Ottawa by Barack Obama, who campaigned on more stringent green regs, the premier got antsy: Stephen Harper has already proposed continental energy talks. What could this mean? So witness Stelmach in Toronto yesterday, still talking a good game—maybe I don’t need to be in on those talks after all–but retreating also in the face of Harper, who’s signaled he’s controlling this file.