Thursday, August 01, 2013

Pipelines And Pipe Dreams

Barack Obama has been signalling that the Keystone Pipeline is not all it's cracked up to be. In a recent interview in the New York Times, he said that the argument that Keystone will be a big job creator is a myth. In reality, it may only produce 2,000 immediate jobs and 50 to 100 long term ones. Tasha Kheiriddin writes that, if Keystone goes down, the dream of a Conservative political hegemony will go down with it:

Pipelines represent the key to a Western Canadian century – and the Tories’ dreams of political hegemony. Just like opening up the St. Lawrence Seaway boosted Central Canada at the expense of the Maritimes in the last century, so enriching the West would reduce Ontario and Quebec’s interests, both economic and political.

Oil is the Conservative lifeblood. Without it, the present government will die. But, Mr. Harper has already shot himself and his party in the foot. Obama has also signalled that if Canada had a better record of looking out for environmental interests, Keystone would be an easier sell. And, if Obama kills Keystone, there will be ripples throughout North America:

If Obama kiboshes Keystone, its impact will nonetheless be significant, due to two factors: symbolism and timing. On a symbolic level, American environmentalists would embrace a Keystone rejection as a sign that pipelines can be defeated. The decision would energize their movement and encourage their Canadian brethren to fight similar projects with renewed vigour. As in the United States, their votes would matter, as evidenced by the British Columbia government’s recent rejection of Northern Gateway in its current form, due to concerns over Enbridge’s ability to clean up spills.

Harper has ignored the first rule of economics: a strong economy is a diversified economy. He has put all his eggs in the pipeline basket. If the Keystone dream dies, so do all the other Conservative pipe dreams.


Lorne said...

The fact that Harper put all of his economic eggs in one basket is perhaps not all that surprising, Owen. Despite the fact that the man calls himself an economist (I believe he only has a Masters in that arcane art), his fervour for oil, as well as his ideology, surely reflect an absolutist and truncated world view. That's why, like the right-wing in the U.S., we hear so many 'either-or' statements from his government ('you are either with us' or 'you are with the child pornoagraphers', 'environmentalists are akin to terrorists', etc., etc. ad nauseam.)

Owen Gray said...

I've always been puzzled by those who tout Harper's intelligence, Lorne. It's been my experience that simple minds breed simple solutions.

Those who praise Harper's intelligence know nothing of wisdom.

Ck said...

I bet a month's pay that Obama will eventually cave and accept Keystone with open arms and with enthusiasm. He's just playing to environmentalists, trying to buy time, perhaps the 2014 mid-term elections down there?? He may not be able to wait that long though and he will cave.

The Republicans, who Obama is just oh so anxious to please, along with the Fox News crowd, for some god foresaken reason, wants this pipeline. So do many of his own Democrats for that matter.

Obama may not like Harper all that much, but it is apparent to me that he is terrified of him. He probably knows what happens to folks who cross Steve.

Add the fact that Justin Trudeau, who is more like minded with the Democrats than Stevie ever will be, supports Keystone, as well as some scientists who submitted reports that Keystone is actually very safe.

All those factors, Obama will cave. He's just posturing and fluffing his feathers to a particular base.

Obama is also a Republican in Dem's clothing--I think deep down, he really wants Keystone, and he can fall back on the other questionable reports that say that 10s of thousands of jobs will be created. He has all kinds of things to fall back on.

Back to what I said, he's scared of his own party and the insane assylum known as today's Republicans and not the least of all, His Highness Steve.

Obama will cave and I am willing to bet any kind of money on tha

Anonymous said...

Harper has a 'masters' in economics from a cow town college. It's not like he attended Harvard or the London School of Economics. So his credentials are, at best, weak. Plus, he has never worked as a professional in his chosen field.

And Harper didn't do himself or his party any favours by trying to interfere in Obama's election campaign by closing the Iranian embassy.

Harper was asking for his very public spanking from Obama.

Owen Gray said...

You may be right, CK. So far Obama has not been the defender of the environment he claims to be. And Big Money is on the side of Big Oil.

But, if Keystone goes down, all Harper has to fall back on is a pipeline to the east -- which is Pierre Elliot Trudeau's National Energy Program dressed in new clothes.

Owen Gray said...

A spanking from Obama would hurt Harper, Anon. But, in the long run, it would be good for the economy -- if it forces Harper to diversify his economic interests.

Anonymous said...

Obama and Harper are very much, like of mind. Of course the Keystone will be approved.

Sounds as though the American Police will be operating in Canada. Harper and Obama's spats are contrived.

Has anyone read? Harper gives a speech in New York, at the Council of Foreign Relations? This was Sept 25/2007

NAU pushed by big business.
May 18/2011

P.M. Harper officially endorses NAU
Oct 2/2005

This has been on the agenda for years. Why do you think the CNR was sold to the U.S? Why was the BCR sold to CNR? We will be, MexCanAricans.

A very astute blogger, (God rest her soul), had all of this pegged years ago.

Owen Gray said...

Who was the blogger, Anon?