John Kerry cuts Jim Prentice a break.

Oil sands? The sticky subject never came up.

Environment Minister Jim Prentice didn’t have to defend Alberta’s oil sands in his meeting yesterday with John Kerry, one of the most powerful senators in Barack Obama’s Washington. In fact, the issue of “dirty oil” appears strangely marginal in all Canada-US talks: when Obama met Stephen Harper in Ottawa last month, they merely agreed to start a “clean energy dialogue” (whatever that is). The question: were expectations of a Democrat-led, National Geographic-stoked, assault on the oil sands overblown, or are Washington’s new environmentalists merely taking time to marshal their arguments—and political clout.

Canadian Press