Canada and U.S. jointly ‘assessing’ oil and gas climate action: letter

Luiza Ch. Savage on a letter from Canadian ambassador Gary Doer


Canadian and U.S. officials are actively “assessing” potential cooperation on regulations to reduce carbon emissions in the oil and gas sectors, according to a letter from Canada’s Ambassador to Washington, Gary Doer, to the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.  Doer’s letter was submitted as part of the public comment period in the review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline being run by the State Department. The pipeline would bring diluted bitumen from northern Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast and is being opposed by environmentalists.

Most of Doer’s letter makes the Harper government’s familiar case in favour of the pipeline. In a section on climate change, he also notes that there are now active efforts between the two countries to come up with measures to reduce emissions from the oil sands. President Obama has said he will only approve the pipeline if it does not significantly exacerbate carbon pollution. Doer wrote:

“Our energy and environment officials are currently assessing common energy issues, including potential oil and gas issues, which we could usefully address together.”

He also notes:

“Canada is committed to further action including regulations for our oil and natural gas sectors. As Prime Minister Harper said publicly on 19 December 2013, ‘Our government is prepared to work with the United States on a regulatory regime that will bring our emissions down.”

The letter does not specify which officials are conducting the assessment, and does not indicate any timeline for the exercise.

The full letter is here: KXL GOC Letter FEB 2014

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Canada and U.S. jointly ‘assessing’ oil and gas climate action: letter

  1. Ahhh suddenly Harpo is willing to listen to reason.

    • his policy has always been to only accept enviro standards that are the same as the us. an example is small and large truck emission standards

      • He has policies on everything….he just doesn’t stick to them.

        • This has been predictable for the last two years, want to know the ending…

          Canada and US will agree on a plan to reduce carbon emissions, (most of which will come from oil no longer transported by train) and Obama will accept Keystone, after midterms, but before 2015 Canadian elections.

          Benefiting both our PM and Obama!

          • But doing nothing for the environment.

            PS….Canadians don’t care about the Keystone outcome

            PPS….don’t count on Obama

          • I’ll take a bet with you, if you`d like!

            If Obama does not approve Keystone, I will post that Justin will be the greatest PM of all time on 20 macleans stories.

            If Obama approves Keystone, you post that Harper is the greatest PM of all time on 20 stories.

          • LOL I don’t care what you think about Justin….and I would never post that about Harpo! I once said I’d forgive Harp a lot if he signed a trade deal with Europe….but he’s even botched that.

            I don’t know which way Obama will go on Keystone because we don’t know the full story…..but going by the public stories I can’t see any benefit to Obama, Dems or the US in approving Keystone.

          • Sounds like you’re letting your emotions get in the way of your reason.

            Let’s hope Obama doesn’t do the same mistake, Keystone would help a lot of middle and lower class Americans.

          • No, that’s just your Con sexism talking…..I never let my emotions get in the way of reason.

            Keystone doesn’t help Americans at all….the oil is going overseas. The pipeline is just the shortest route to the coast.

            And if it spills in the aquifer….

          • It’s not sexism … progressives always think with their emotions.

            That’s how they convince themselves that Keystone is bad, no matter how many assessments say the contrary.

          • a) You can’t think with your emotions. You feel with them

            b) I’m not a progressive.

            c) Lots of assessments say the pipeline is bad news… depends on who you’re inclined to believe.

          • I wonder what those same assessments would say about train shipments of oil?

            Ultimately if oil is going to be shipped regardless, then it should be via pipelines. We all know that environmentalists’ true intent is not “safely” shipping, but entirely stopping civilization from using any sort of modern anything.

            They want us back to the stone age and eating plants, and will use whatever excuses or actions that they can to, if not make that happen, just get in our way about it.

          • Most people don’t want pipelines OR trains….and they see that as being far more civilized than what has become the incredibly high cost of oil.

            It is not a choice between the stone age and oil. It is the goal of being a high tech civilization without wrecking the planet.

    • it’s fake… they both discuss of abstrait in a circle way…

      1. US: President Obama has said he will only approve the pipeline if it does not significantly exacerbate carbon pollution

      2.Canada: “Our government is prepared to work with the United States on a regulatory regime that will bring our emissions down.”

      The US actualy exploit shale gaz even if scientific had call and raised flag a lot of time since the begining.

      Finaly, none of them demonstrate any anthousism to pay for a regulation of nay kind… “The letter does not specify which officials are conducting the assessment, and does not indicate any timeline for the exercise”

      The statu quo is on the first line, don’t expect any change on environment or health situation. If health is not enough important for them to move, expect the worst to come maybe.

      • Obama and Kerry are big on the environment…..Harpo is not, so he’s being dragged kicking and screaming…..

  2. So why does Harper keep on pushing back promised regs for oil and gas sectors then?
    You have to wonder just what is keeping a guy like Doer on board the Harper express to climate change denial via omission and inaction?

    • Let me take a shot at what keeps a guy like Doer on board the Harper denial train: Perqs, maybe?

      • I wish i knew. Supposed to be a smart guy.

  3. “[Doer] also notes that there are now active efforts between the two countries
    to come up with measures to reduce emissions from the oil sands.”

    This wouldn’t, by any chance, be a reference to the regs the Cons promised…um, let’s see…seven years ago, would it?

  4. Glo-Bull Warming is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated in human history.

    After the November mid terms O’bummer will nothing more to say or do.

    He’ll more likely than not approve Keystone XL before then in an effort to save something of his sorry excuse of a presidency.

    • And as long as Harper clings to the conviction that climate change is a myth, Keystone (requiring American approval), and probably other similar projects (requiring FN support) will be nothing more than a pipe dream (literally).

      Pragmatists in the oil sector itself must be cursing the Cons’ “support”.

      • No, just waiting for Obama’s term to be up and a Republican in the Whitehouse.

        • February 2017?

          That’s an eternity in politics. By then, there’s an equally good chance the Cons (or at least Harper) will be gone, too. Also, the Americans could have an adequate domestic supply on reserve by then (thanks to fracking, for better or worse), meaning the price of tar sands oil declines to the point where the capital investment no longer makes sense to the oil companies.

          There’s a good possibility the main chance has already passed, thanks in part to Harper’s procrastination on long-promised regs for the sector.

          • The American Petroleum Institute includes Canadian oil in their self sufficiency estimates.

          • Your post is nothing but dog sh!t.

          • Your posting to yourself there bubba…moron.

          • There it is, the winner of the losers,

            Still hard aground on that lee shore, hahahaha

          • OK, even if that’s true, the political landscape in 2017 on both sides of the border isn’t at all clear, regarding Keystone’s prospects. I’m sure its opponents will be happy to watch Keystone advocates idle passively, waiting for a Republican government in 2017 because that buys them time and, in any event, it’s no slam dunk to happen.

          • TROLLLL, TROOLLLL in the dungeon

          • TODDLER, TODDLER in the sandbox

        • i dont think North America or the world can stand around and wait till the term is up, we need action now

          • Some of his own Democrat Senators have threatened to partake in over ruling Bam Bam.

            That would make O’Bummer even worse than Carter.

          • Why on earth would anyone take serious anything that a childish name caller like you has to say?

          • Pot/kettle

          • Yeah like I’m the POTUS. Pretty stupid even for you bubba

          • childish name caller


            Gawd you’re stupid

          • Shall I put it in tiny little words for u?
            I’m calling you out for calling the POTUS childish names. It’s supposed to wake you up, not hunt for stupid excuses for your behaviour.
            Look mums he hit me first! But I didn’t did I!

          • : )

          • kcm2

            Billy Bob

            an hour ago

            Your posting to yourself there bubba…moron.

      • It is a myth, and it was fully exposed as such back in 2009 with Climategate. Harper was right about it even before then in 2006.

        Nothing but a socialist wealth redistribution scam. They can’t tax us through the front-door as easily if they can just get in that backdoor via guilt trip. There are those of us far more willing to believe the claptrap that easily fall victim to this guilt trip, but we fight on your behalf as well whether you like it or not.

        • All beside the point in the current conversation. Keystone remains politically unfeasible until the Cons put sectoral regs in place, as they promised years ago.

          Isn’t that what Doer’s letter concedes, in so many words?

          • You really believe your own sh!t………….what a joke.

          • Of course I do. Don’t you believe your own?

          • Then why wait for a new guy in the White House (hoping it’s a Republican)?

          • Wow, right over your head.

          • So, that’s an answer? Declaring yourself the winner?

          • No, many people just want Obama gone, has nothing to do with Keystone.

          • So what? Many people want Harper gone, too, but that’s totally irrelevant in a discussion about the political merits of regulation in the oil and gas sector.

          • So is a neurotic dog.

          • Again, you resort to ad hominem dismissals rather than address the point in discussion. What makes you think a Billy Boob is relevant, either?

          • you came up with your pseudonym, live with it.

            As for the oil and gas sector in both the USA and Canada, I’m sure that both countries representatives will come up with a draft copy of proposed regulations in due course and may even solicit some public input.

          • No problem, as long as I can make fun of yours, too, instead of debating your point of view. Dogs play well with children.

          • Not neurotic ones……….dawg

            Wait for the draft regulations if you can………….

          • I don’t have much choice. Like everyone, including the sector itself, I’ve been waiting for them for 7 years (isn’t this where we came in?)

          • So Doer’s letter is just blowing smoke (as usual from the Cons on this issue)?

            Why would Harper government start sending signals like this if there’s already enough bicameral support in the US to overcome a veto or there’s going to be a Republican in the White House by 2017, and if there’s still a demand for the product by then?

          • The US and Canada work on these things in tandem, like the recent new regulations for automobile emissions.

            You keep grasping at straws.

          • The US and Canada isn’t working on these things in tandem just because you declare they are. The Canadian government has done nothing regarding regs in the oil and gas sector, after promising them 7 years ago. Even some spokespersons in the sector have said such regs would be helpful.

            Had the Harper government made any conspicuous effort to get regs in place, Obama probably would have had some breathing room among his own environmental interest groups to expedite a Keystone decision.

          • From the article;

            Canadian and U.S. officials are actively “assessing” potential
            cooperation on regulations to reduce carbon emissions in the oil and gas
            sectors, according to a letter from Canada’s Ambassador to Washington,
            Gary Doer, to the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.

          • If you parse the language, actively “assessing” “potential” cooperation clearly doesn’t mean “are currently collaborating”. If it did, he would have been more definitive.

            I would suggest the Cons have been “assessing” “potential” cooperation for 7 years now and little has changed.

          • You can suggest all you want……..won’t get you anywhere.

          • And where you are getting traction besides in your own mind?

          • I get traction on my John Deere.

            Used to have a dog on the farm, it got rabies, you know the rest.

          • Now you’re regressing. Past your bedtime?

          • That’s all you have now?


          • While you’re infantile tractor remark is witty and trenchant?


          • That has nothing to do with the oil and gas sector. The reason there’s unity on vehicle emissions is that North America is virtually seamless a common market in vehicle manufacturing and sales. The auto sector itself wants common standards (as, I suggest, many in the resource sector would).

          • Automobiles tend to burn various grades of gasoline or diesel.

            Unless you drive a plug in.

          • Standards governing vehicle emissions do not apply to the resource extraction sector, which is where the need for regs still, arguably, exists. That’s what I thought we were debating.

          • Standards governing vehicle emissions do not apply to the resource extraction sector………………wow, stunning deduction dawg.

          • WTF? You’re the one who threw them into the debate, not me.

          • As an example of the two countries working in tandem.

          • And completely irrelevant in the current context. Both Countries belong to NORAD, too. So what?

          • See ya dog, gotta go burn some fossil fuel.

          • Be sure to inhale.

          • Just ignore him for a minute and he’ll be off chasing a squirrel in no time.

          • Competing for nuts then.

          • Competing? No. I believe the squirrel would eye him as just one more nut.


            Their actions would suggest the two countries do work in tandem. Despite voicing concerns over global warming and pollution, both Canada and the US are breaking records for the amount of coal they are selling to China. I wonder if either Harper or Obama would consider visiting Beijing sans a mask and taking deep, deep breaths. Apparently the leader of China dared to go out into the polluted city one day without a mask to the astonishment of journalists and citizens alike.
            At some point, we in North America are going to have to stop posturing and realize that everything we do, affects the whole planet. We are just as responsible for the emissions we create in the world we sell to as those in our little country. We are profiting off the pollution of other countries and the resulting diseases it causes, including lung cancer in children as young as 8 years old. Shame on us!

          • The Chinese burn lots of coal, supposedly have large reserves of foreign currency, yet seem unwilling to make even the most basic of upgrades to their coal fired power stations through the installation of electrostatic precipitaters or water mist scrubbers.

          • Let’s face it, they have lots of people there so losing a number of them to pollution-related illness is just a type of “collateral damage” that is deemed acceptable risk.
            What I find disgusting is that anyone can pretend that any nation can take the high road and point fingers at any other nation while they are selling pollutants to China.

          • I don’t know what quality of coal the US is selling them, but the stuff that’s heading out from BC is mostly coking coal. It is needed fro manufacturing steel and as far as i know a better quality of coal than they burn in Chinese power plants. Hopefully we end up selling them the technology to scrub those plants or sequester those emissions?[ not that i have any faith in carbon sequestration]


            Many people don’t see the sale of coal to China as benign.

            This is something I don’t understand. Why as an environmentalist, do you kcm2, defend the practice of North America making money off of selling coal to China. I know you didn’t like Canada selling asbestos overseas…so why defend this?

          • Did i or did i not say that to the best of my knowledge[ admittedly sketchy] that BC is exporting coking coal to China. As far as i know this coal does not carry the same health hazards as thermal coal. In any case i would agree that almost any alternative is preferable,

            It isn’t likely the alternative is bitumen. Meanwhile there are plans afoot to ship LNG from BC to China and points east. Gas is both a better fit for utility power and a far cleaner product than bitumen.
            So no i don’t support the export of US thermal coal to China.
            Is that yet another one of your disguises Charlie boy, or is it Wheatie lad in there?

          • Barack
            Obama has widely touted his “Buffett Rule,” a plan which increases
            taxes on the wealthy because of an alleged issue of unfairness when it
            comes to taxing the wealthy versus the poor. It is so named the “Buffett
            Rule” because Warren Buffett is supposed to have paid a lower tax rate
            than his secretary. Interestingly, while tooting its horn against
            wealthy people taking advantage of the system, the Obama administration
            has made a move which will greatly help Warren Buffett further increase
            his already enormous wealth: denying the Keystone XL pipeline permit.

            The Keystone XL is a pipeline which would enable 700,000 barrels of
            crude oil to be pumped per day from Canada to Texas. What does this have
            to do with Buffet? With the permit denied, the only option left to
            transport the oil is via railroad. One of the key railroads which will
            be running this oil is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, a railroad
            which Buffett acquired in 2009. As Krista York-Wooley, a spokeswoman for
            BNSF, put it, if Keystone XL “doesn’t happen, we’re here to haul.”

            Running the oil via railroad will cost much more than running it
            through the pipeline. Captive shippers have previously complained about
            the higher rates BNSF has been charging due to the premium Buffett’s
            Berkshire Hathaway paid for the company. BNSF’s higher rates have even
            affected the cost of shipping food on the railroad. Recently, The
            National Association of Wheat Grower’s past President Wayne Hurst
            testified to the Surface Transportation Board that growers are
            increasingly concerned about the higher cost of shipping on the BNSF

            Buffet also stands to profit from the rising oil costs in the United
            States. Coal is a major alternative to oil and its derivative, natural
            gas. Coal also plays a large role in the profits of BNSF. In fact, hauling coal made up a quarter of BNSF’s revenue
            during 2009, and BNSF railway cars hauled coal more than any other
            single material. BNSF plans $3.9 billion in capital spending this year,
            as the company boosts capacity for coal shipments. If oil and natural
            gas had won out through approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, this could
            have had a significant negative impact on BNSF’s large coal business.

            The Keystone XL permit was denied after loud opposition from
            environmentalists, this despite the fact that three years of
            environmental impact studies were conducted by the State Department that
            determined the pipeline would have “no significant impacts.”
            Among the groups leading the charge for no pipeline was the group “Bold
            Nebraska.” The “Bold Nebraska” campaign was funded to a great extent by
            Dick Holland, an old Buffett friend and associate. Both are big
            Democratic Party contributors.

            Warren Buffett has benefited from the denial of the permit for the
            pipeline, there is no doubt. Instead of the benefiting the nearly 20,000
            people that would have been employed from the pipeline construction,
            Obama’s denial is benefiting a man with a net worth of 44 billion
            dollars who also happens to be a large Obama supporter. The
            environmental costs of the pipeline are not a good reason to deny the
            permit, either, according to Obama’s own State Department impact
            statements. The benefits of the pipeline are clear; what is unclear is
            why the pipeline was rejected and why Warren Buffett should benefit at
            the cost of the country.


          • So why are you posting this item here? Are you now suggesting that Obama is stalling on Keystone so that Buffett can get richer and not because, among other concerns, the tar sands remain unregulated?

            The notion strikes me, on the face of it, as bizarre but evidently I’m unable to disabuse you of a lot of other equally odd ideas so, whatever floats your boat, keep on rowing it.

        • Pity the UK govt didn’t agree with your insightful analysis when it investigated…but then they don’t go in for much of that conspiracy theory bunkum that seems to keep guys like you up at nights.


            Hey the UK and those in Europe are having their own problems. They can’t afford green energy and are looking at expanding back into coal-fired electricity.

          • The Germans have been burning brown coal again since early last year.

          • What about the mining of coal?

          • Pretending?

            With Canadians’ emissions 50% higher than those of Germans I’m pretty sure they don’t have to pretend.

          • Thanks.
            I’m sure something has been published somewhere in the FP at sometime that is somehow related to my comment.

          • Ever heard of something called a world wide financial crisis? Apparently it’s had more of an effect on European economies than ours. If we had their problems we’d be burning more coal too. It wont last.

          • I see….so when people are a bit down on their luck it is okay to pollute the planet and ignore the science that says even tarsand oil is less carbon emmission intensive than coal.

          • No it isn’t ok. But it is understandable. Canada would do the same were we up against it as many EU countries currently are.
            In any case bitumen is not best suited to power production…i think you know that.

          • I don’t think it’s a surpise to anyone that govt’s coming out of a bad recession with a lot of debt consider cheaper energy sources. But that link hardly suggests a whole sale retreat to coal, not does it suggest green energy is done…far from it.


            It is not so much about governments coming out of a bad recession and not being able to afford green energy so much as taxpayers not being able to afford green energy and then turning back to an energy that is perhaps the most carbon emission intensive of all. If you don’t believe “that link” showed that Europe is turning to cheap, carbon emission intensive energy by using coal-fired electricity, then maybe you will believe this link. We aren’t enemies here…we all share the same air on this planet.
            It is time for some honesty about what is viable in terms of economics and the environment.

          • Who cares what any “investigations” decided? I read the emails myself and based on the facts, came to my own conclusion that there were scientists with the intent to deceive.

            The hockey stick graph, which is what started this whole global warming craze, has been completely proven to be a farce. and the intent of the scientsts to “hide the decline” as well as admitting they wanted to make it appear worse than it was to force “action”, as far as I’m concerned obliterated any credibility of these scientists.

            For the government then to go in and say “nothing to see here” doesn’t resolve anything. In fact it only does the opposite and puts that government in the same arena as the misleading scientists. They exposed themselves as in on the scam.
            Now, you, if you want, can “trust” that the government has your best interests in mind. Me, I believe enough facts were presented that allow me to conclude all the above statements I’ve made. That the government said there were not, essentially, implicates them as well.

            And I will state as well, prior to Climategate I did not know whether or not it was true, nor cared that much. That was when the two sides of the equation became clearly evident to me and that this was a fight that needed to be fought.

          • To use your metric…who care what you think! Your clearly an ignoramus.

        • Any thoughts about why Harper is participating in this “socialist wealth redistribution scam”?
          Is it a lack of principals? Gutlessness?
          Or do you think he’s lying about his intention?

          • participating in this “socialist wealth redistribution scam?

            Canada never has, never will, Glo-Bull Warming is fraud.

            The Chicago Carbon Exchange died and the European Exchange is a joke, rife with fraud, go figure.

          • He’s “participating” in as only as much as necessary, based on political factors.
            If he were able to govern solely on policy, not on politics, I doubt there would be any participation.

  5. Memo to warmists:

    the theory is that as co2 increases so does temperature of the planet. As co2 has skyrocketed the Earth has slightly cooled and may now be dramatically cooling. That’s called a disproven theory. Meanwhile the scientists that have been studying sunspots and solar activity have predicted an onset of cooling, which has happened. AGW isn’t science it’s the greatest perversion of science by leftist partisanship and religious like zealotry in modern times.

  6. After ripping a hole big enough to plunk Britain into it with lakes of oil swill, it seems highly unlikely anyone with a set of binoculars and breathing apparatus would accept their assessment.

  7. Canada will become a giant Ice sheet, CO2 or not.

  8. Pingback: Anyone for tipping? The climate debate begins to shift, perhaps. | Peter Sale Books