Dear Barack, let’s get together on oil and gas

The Prime Minister writes to the President


The CBC reports that the Prime Minister has written to President Barack Obama to broach the subject of “joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector,” apparently with Keystone XL in mind.

Sources told CBC News the prime minister is willing to accept targets proposed by the United States for reducing the climate-changing emissions and is prepared to work in concert with Obama to provide whatever political cover he needs to approve the project.

The letter, sent in late August, is a clear signal Canada is prepared to make concessions to get the presidential permit for TransCanada Corp.’s controversial $7-billion pipeline, which will connect the Alberta oilsands to refineries in Texas. But there’s a huge snag. Obama hasn’t said what he wants, or needs, to assuage environmentalists that Keystone XL is in America’s national interest, or to convince congressional Democrats facing re-election next year that it can be approved without sabotaging their campaigns.

Late August puts this letter about a month after the President mused that “there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release.” The Harper government, of course, is twice overdue on the promise of new regulations for the oil and gas sector.

Mr. Obama addressed Keystone XL during a major speech in June, in which he said, “our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution” and “the net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.”


Dear Barack, let’s get together on oil and gas

  1. fascinating, the PM our great leader who has done nothing about the proposed regulations on emissions for the oil and gas sector since he got into office, in fact went the other way and made it easier for them to foul the air, has apparently seen the light, if it gets the US to approve the pipeline. How about emission control just because it is the air we all breathe and the water we all use.

    • Actually, the Harper government is putting President Obama on the spot. Let the US do something about coal pollution, eh!

      • Putting him on the spot by completely abdicating our right to set independent national emissions policy and offering unspecified “concessions”…uhuh
        What’s he going to do, offer them the north west passage?

        • Yes. Mr. Harper probably WILL do just that. Look at the options … attempt to simply deny passage … not a realistic option. Charge for pilotage … a strong possibility, but our charts are dozens of years out of date. Try to insist on ‘passage insurance’ … a possibility, and would have to be worked through Lloyds. The worst, and probably what he WILL do, is … almost nothing, claiming that it is left up to the NWT government since the passage is in the NWT.
          Harper. What a sad joke of a PM.

        • Still hard aground on that lee shore………..moron

          • Been in the shop to get your bolts tightened have you Bubba?

      • Pres. Obama, on this issue, is wearing the T-shirt that says “Stupid’s With Me”, with an arrow pointing at Mr. Harper. Harper has consistently either sold out, stalled or reduced science to a pittance to try and fudge any proper discussion on almost every environmental issue.

        • “Sources told CBC News the prime minister is willing to accept
          targets proposed by the United States for reducing the climate-changing

          ….and if Obama agrees, he will have no choice but to throw coal emissions into the mix, since they are a great polluters in the US.

          • Nice try, but Obama doesn’t “have” to do anything. It’s Harper that has come begging. In fact, Obama could very well demand that Harper set emissions targets for tarsands oil production if he wants a pipeline, without US emissions ever entering the equation.

          • You’ve gone over to the dark side. Tar sands cause man made global warming?

    • every time harper makes a deal, theirs always some kind of corruption attached to it. this is the same guy who attacked the libs for not going to war in Iraq, said he was going to beef up the armed forces. now we cant even offer the UN a griffon helicopter to go to Syria. so what makes people think harper is going to end up doing a ‘ no brainer ‘ deal with Obama. from the body language I see when harper meets Obama, I think the 2 are totally not into each other. Obama knows when he is being played as CHUMP from harper. harper is the chump now. its the new harper flip flopping tango. this guy(harper) who writes a hockey book and cant even skate.

    • It has been Harper’s policy and plan always to harmonize Canadian carbon emission policies with the American policies so as to not put Canadian industry at a competitive disadvantage with American ones.

      This is nothing new.

      The Conservatives were even contemplating cap-n-trade when Obama was first elected and it was Obama’s plan, until the US Senate kiboshed it.

      Harper’s climate change plan has always been to do just as much as the Americans are actually willing to do (and not what Americans promise that they are going to do, because Americans tend to overpromise and underdeliver).

      • Harper’s climate change plan has always been to do just as much as the Americans are actually willing to do.


        The Tories just called this a “Made in Canada” solution so as to simplify this complex plan for voters.

        Washington D.C. is in Canada after all, isn’t it?

        • It will be a “made in Canada solution” because the US has far more high emitting coal-fired electrical plants that they can shut down to decrease emissions as compared to Canada. To keep up, Harper will actually have to take on emissions from a big emitter like the oil sands. I am not sure why people have such hard time with him asking Obama outright what he wants instead of talking about it through the media.

          • To keep up, Harper will actually have to take on emissions from a big emitter like the oil sands.

            My point is, in what sense is “keeping up with the Americans” a “Made in Canada” solution”?

            If the Americans jumped off a bridge…

          • In this case, offering to “keep up with the Americans”, makes it difficult for Obama to claim that Canada is not doing enough because Harper is doing the exact same thing as he is. What no one seems to understand is that this is NOT about the environment, it is about politics, plain and simple.

          • Oh, sure, it’s about politics, not the environment. Absolutely.

            That’s why I’m certain that the Tory campaign pledge to come up with a “Made in Canada Solution”, and to not just follow what other countries are doing, is bound to come up in the context of our (apparent) new policy, which is “Do whatever the Americans tell us to do”.

            Don’t get me wrong, this was obviously always going to happen. I said back when the Tories were making the “Made in Canada Solution” pledge that it was a stupid promise to make, since they’d inevitably end up following in lock step with the Americans. However, a piece of political rhetoric being transparently dishonest doesn’t make it honest. Just because no thinking person would have believed the claim back during the election doesn’t absolve the Tories from making it.

  2. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….purdy please Mr Prezident,sir…..please with sugar on?

  3. Dear Barack,
    When I said I wasn’t ready I didn’t know how important it was to you.

    And I know it was stupid, but the only reason I flirted with Xi was to try to make you jealous.

    I hope it’s not to late but I really feel like I am ready now. I want to do this, not just for you, but for me.

    PS The lady at the drug store said they didn’t have any of the “KY” you said I’d need so she gave me “Astroglide” instead. Will that be OK?
    PPS You’ll be gentle, won’t you?

  4. How embarrassing is that? When Harper said we needed to be in lock step with the US he wasn’t kidding. It’s just no one expected us to wind up on our knees virtually pleading. Needless to say we could have been well out ahead of this one if we had been just a teensy weensy bit proactive. But no, ya can’t tell Steve bugger all. He’s the man!
    I don’t care if Harper’s humiliated by this, but there was no need to drag Canada’s good name and reputation through the mud. Looks good on you Steve.

  5. Google ‘U.S. Refiners Don’t Care if Keystone Gets Built’ on the wallstreet journal…Harpo’s ‘principled’ bootlicking on Syria might get him nowhere in return as even industry becomes indifferent. But then ‘nowhere’ is what Harpo does best.

    • Because it creates a greater price differential between trapped North American oil at Cushing and the world price, which means larger profits for US refiners, basically coming out of Alberta and Ottawa’s royalty and corporate tax, and the North American consumers pocket.

      i.e. as with natural gas.

      i.e. with oil, it becomes terrible for the consumer, since the refiners will pay the cheap North American price for oil, and charge the North American consumer a gasoline price set off the miuch higher world price for oil.

  6. Frantic call in to Frank Luntz to come up with a different name for a carbon tax…

    • Pond hockey preservation fund.

      • The PHPF – that should fool enough people. Just more economic action from the Harper government.

        • Opposition parties to be referred to as polliwogs and tadpoles.

  7. SH: ‘So Mr Prez, whats it going to take to get this pipeline through then eh…Barrack old buddy? We could offer concessions you know.’

    BO: ‘yeah…about those concessions… you have an election coming up in ’15, so my sources tell me. It so happens we’re gonna be need’ n a new black ops point man for Hilary round about then… an since i hear that Truda boy is coming along just fine. Just like his pappy eh, a cut off the old block … so howzat grab ya…Steve! You still there? Stevie’.. ‘
    BO: ‘ I do believe my man just fainted on me.’

  8. Our desperate Pm is looking for ANY headline or story that doesn’t reveal more of his personal appointees and fellow Conservatives as crooks.

  9. F*** the carbon taxes. Build the damn pipeline.

    • Couldn’t be any worse than the barnyard animals and socks you’ve been f***ing.
      But I agree – pie for everyone!

    • What carbon taxes?

  10. The real joke is that the Keystone pipeline has been delivering oil to Illinois (Obama’s home state), for over three years now. And Obama hasn’t said a word. Lol!