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.