Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's Not Inevitable

Stephen Harper has said that the Keystone XL pipeline is "inevitable."  He bases his conclusion on a simplistic analysis: We've got the bitumen. You need it." The first part of that proposition is true. The second part isn't. But the most important truth is that, when it comes to selling Keystone, Harper has been his own enemy.

The prime minister came to Mexico intent on selling Keystone to Barack Obama. The president reminded him, however, that he has kicked the tires and has doubts about what Harper is selling:

"Stephen and I, during a break after lunch, discussed a shared interest in working together around dealing with greenhouse gas emissions. And this is something that we have to deal with."

"Stephen" has done nothing about greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, during his tenure, they have gotten worse. And, like Jim Flaherty's deficit projections, Canadian emissions are always grossly off target. That's the problem:

"I said previously that how Keystone impacted greenhouse gas emissions would affect our decision. But frankly, it has to affect all of our decisions at this stage because the science is irrefutable," Obama said.

He said increasing "severe weather patterns" has "consequences for our businesses, for our jobs, for our families, for safety and security."

"It has the potential of displacing people in ways that we cannot currently fully anticipate and will be extraordinarily costly. So I welcome the work that we can do together with Canada," Obama added.

Harper has never worked together with anyone to reduce emissions. The only notable thing he has done is to withdraw from the Kyoto protocol. He has personally fanned opposition to the pipeline.

Obama has no reason to buy Keystone. He knows what Harper doesn't. It's not inevitable.


Percival said...

Good to see Obama keep the focus on the effects of climate change and emphasizing the need for Canada to work with the US toward solutions. Not at all what dear Stephen wanted to hear!

Owen Gray said...

No, it was not what Stephen had hoped for Percival. Perhaps he's thinking of returning to Israel, where Bibi will great him warmly.

Lorne said...

It gives me great pleasure, Owen, to imagine Dear Leader gritting his teeth as Obama talked about curbing greenhouse gas emissions. And I guess the fact that I should feel such petty pleasure says a great deal about how Harper's unholy reign has twisted my soul.

Owen Gray said...

It's not your soul that's twisted, Lorne. It's his.

Anonymous said...

Owen: Not only is it inevitable, I think Obama is actually going to kibosh Keystone and that he is only waiting to do so after the mid-term elections.

If Obama had wanted to play along, he likely would have grabbed onto the political cover that Dear Leader had provided him: tens of thousands of jobs for Americans. Instead, Obama openly ridiculed those numbers.

Now, with his increasing emphasis on climate change, Obama seems to be building up a stronger case to say no, I think.

And of course the Nebraska court decision is a Godsend if Obama is so inclined.

Owen Gray said...

You're right, Anon. The jobs argument is balderdash. And once Obama is through mid-terms, he can give a definitive no.

Harper argues that the next president will have to do what Obama won't do.

He says that for the benefit of tar sands investors, who are beginning to understand that they have been stuck with a "stranded asset."

Anonymous said...

Britain is blaming their horrendous floods on climate change. The Philippines have had a disaster. So has Australia. As well, there is China too and Alberta as well. There are weather extremes all around the globe.

Harper is far too belligerent and stubborn, to listen to anyone.

There are no jobs for Canadians on the Keystone. There are also Americans working in the oil patch while, Canadians are being laid off.

Petro-China will build the Enbridge pipeline, using their own cheap labor.

Both Harper and Christy Clark lied about, 100,000 jobs for BC Harper's job action plans for Canada, was a blatant out and out lie. Those jobs don't exist for Canadians.

Harper is giving our Canadian jobs to his cheap foreign labor.As more and more of Harper's foreigners are trained, more and more Canadians will be laid off their resource jobs. Harper is bringing over thousands of Chinese for his, Northern BC mining plan.

Owen Gray said...

Obama says his brother-in-law is a Canadian, Anon. Something tells me he gets the real story from him.

The Mound of Sound said...

Owen, what a craven bunch are we if we expect to sit back in hope that a foreign head of state will do a job that's really our responsibility, first and foremost?

Can anyone believe other nations' resolve wouldn't be multiplied by a serious show of resistance from within Canada?

We have to start this and not just in British Columbia but in Manitoba and Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. It's called 'social licence' and we have to tell Ottawa that we won't acquiesce on this.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Mound. It's our responsibility -- not Obama's.

Citizenship carries responsibilities, not just privileges.

thwap said...

Carbon emissions increased under the Liberals as well.

Obama doesn't give a shit about global warming either. He just doesn't want this pipeline and global warming is the excuse.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect he's quite happy to find oil within his own borders, thwap. Self sufficiency will play well with Americans.

At this point, I don't know if he plans to do anything about climate change.

Anonymous said...

"" is irrefutable," Obama said."

Yes Obama it is to everyone except the right, the religious and the unstable, AKA Harper & co. Because God is on their side of devastating the environment for greed's (heavens) sake!