Peak Oil is You

Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)

Page added on April 26, 2014

Bookmark and Share

Canada energy minister urges US to ‘depoliticize’ Keystone XL

Canada energy minister urges US to ‘depoliticize’ Keystone XL thumbnail

Canada remains confident Washington will ultimately approve the Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast, two prominent cabinet ministers said on Friday, adding that the latest U.S. delay is political and not based on environmental concerns.

In his first public remarks on the controversial project, the country’s new energy minister, Greg Rickford, said he hoped the Obama administration will “depoliticize” its decision on Keystone XL and give it the green light.

“On the Keystone, we’re still very hopeful … that this will go ahead sooner rather than later, and it will simply add to the economic benefits of pipeline transmission of energy products,” Rickford told reporters after a speech in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga on Friday.

“Obviously we hope sooner rather than later that this is depoliticized, if you will, and that the communities along the pipeline, which include Canada and the United States, can reap the tremendous economic benefits of Keystone,” he said.

Rickford was reacting to Washington’s move last week to further delay a decision on whether to approve TransCanada Corp’s $5.4 billion Keystone XL project, which would transport crude from the Alberta oil sands and northern U.S. states to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

No U.S. decision on the proposed pipeline is now likely until after the midterm elections in November.

By linking to refiners in the Gulf Coast, the 1,200-mile (1,900-km) pipeline would provide a boost to the oil sands of the western province of Alberta, where heavy oil is abundant but requires the burning vast amounts of fossil fuels to extract.

The project has galvanized the environmental movement, which says consuming carbon fuel to extract oil sands crude will worsen climate change.

Environmentalists opposed to Keystone are part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s liberal-leaning base and approval of the project now might have resulted in Obama’s Democrats losing votes in the November 4 congressional elections.

The oil industry argues projects such as Keystone can reduce U.S. reliance on Middle East oil, while allowing the United States to partner with one of its closest allies, Canada.

The State Department said last week the delay was to extend the period for government agencies to comment on the project, citing a need to wait until the Nebraska Supreme Court settles a dispute over what path the pipeline should take.

Rickford was appointed to his new portfolio last month and his main mandate is to win support for Keystone as well as other pipelines within Canada.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver, who was Rickford predecessor as

energy minister and who aggressively lobbied in the United States for Keystone XL, told an audience in the Canadian oil industry capital of Calgary on Friday that the government “will never give up on Alberta”.

“We will continue to advocate for Keystone until it is approved, as we will advocate for other environmentally responsible projects in the national interest,” he said.

Oliver slammed what he called “powerful and well-funded Americans” who have opposed oil sands development and the pipeline, without naming anyone in particular.

California billionaire Tom Steyer, a donor to the Democrats, is spending tens of millions of dollars to boost environmentally friendly U.S. candidates and has personally asked the president to reject the Keystone pipeline.

“On the merits, they have picked the wrong target,” Oliver said, arguing that U.S. coal-fired electricity emits more greenhouse gases than the oil sands.

“The Keystone decision was political. Everything is in place for a positive national interest determination but politics intervened,” he said.


15 Comments on "Canada energy minister urges US to ‘depoliticize’ Keystone XL"

  1. Steve on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 6:40 am 

    “…“We will continue to advocate for Keystone until it is approved, as we will advocate for other environmentally responsible projects in the national interest,” he said….”

    As with everywhere else on the planet, Canadian politiicians are as daft as daft can be (and nothing but a front for the financial/corporate cartels).

  2. Davy, Hermann, MO on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 7:08 am 

    Steve choose your poison. The Keysone is insignificant to AGW compared to China and its coal usage and the US for that matter. Environmentally tar sand are a mess but if we acknowledge what the brightest minds here on PO suggest we are facing a cliff with energy supply and energy costs to the economy. Liquid fuels are vital to a functioning BAU. The end of BAU is a die off bottle neck situation when you consider that “all” local support systems rely on the global economic system for vital and diverse supplies of resources. I give BAU a few years so Keystone will not make much of an environmental impact because tar sands are an EROI dead end. Tar sands like US shale are only possible now because of cheap money from central bank financial repression. We are nearing the cliff like your blog pic illustrates. I respect if you are ready for the ride down. I need 3 to 5 years more of enjoying life and preparing my lifeboat. I am ready now but can you ever be fully ready. If all goes well we could have a few more years. Keystone is a necessary supply cushion like a 1000 other efforts. But these sources are a dying last breath of BAU. So Steve, the red one or the blue one?

  3. Kenz300 on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 7:38 am 

    Climate Change is real….. no matter what the fossil fuel industry would like you to believe. It is all about PROFITS for them.

    Years of Living Dangerously Premiere Full Episode – YouTube

  4. paulo1 on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 8:32 am 

    Everything is political. What church you do or do not go to, your clothes, US made car or not, who your friends are, what your hobbies are; the list is endless for political animals.

    Good luck with coherent arguments in the land of spin and consumer advertising.


  5. Boat on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 9:06 am 

    The real argument should be whether the US should allow any products from any tar sands period. Keystone is just one pipeline amongst others. Politics is just smoke and mirrors. Google tar sand pipelines and see what I mean.

  6. rockman on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 9:36 am 

    Boat – Which is the point I’ve been making for a very long time which many of the so called friends of the earth refuse to admit. Some times it seems that the anti-KXL permit crowd is actually providing cover for the other export systems by struggling to prove that without the approval the oil sands are dead. And that’s in the continuous record volumes of Canadian oil shipped to the US. They even have difficulty understanding why the Rockman and 98% of the US oil patch would be very happy to see the permit never approved as well as seeing all oil sands imports banned. Of course given the full support from the POTUS to import the oil sands production by all other methods (despite not approving the permit…YET) you know that ain’t going to happen.

    Just like the fact that while the gov’t is trying to restrict coal burning in the US we are continuing to export record amounts of coal (much of which from gov’t leases) overseas. One environmental think tank just estimated that the NET production of GHG from US sourced coal has significantly increased despite the drop in domestic consumption.

    Despite various showboating displays the current US gov’t has clearly shown by its actions (and not it words) exactly what its true position is regarding AGW.

  7. Plantagenet on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 9:37 am 

    Expecting Obama to “depoliticize” something is like expecting a cat not to hiss. There isn’t much substance to Obama, but he is a master politician.

  8. Steve on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 9:57 am 

    Davy, Hermann, MO
    I don’t disagree with your assessment in the least. Just to state that the extraction/use of Alberta bitumen is ‘environmentally responsible’ and in the ‘national interest’ is absurd. I know it is merely propaganda for the cartels and their oligarchs, but such statements must be challenged.

    I believe we are close to the impending energy cliff as well, and, no, I am not ready for it; I do not want it; and, I’m hoping it can be avoided. But the more ‘pragmatic/realistic’ part of me keeps warning me it’s inevitable and could happen at any moment (one never knows what snowflake will tip the system into an avalanche).

    Let’s hope, for our children’s sake, we can mitigate the worst of the consequences…

  9. Davey on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 10:14 am 

    Miss read on my part Steve. Looks like we are same page

  10. rockman on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 12:23 pm 

    Steve – I do understand you point of view but riddle me this: what other current hydrocarbon extractions do you consider “environmentally responsible”? You can argue that some bring about more degradation then others but in doing so you approach the old joke about one woman being more pregnant than another woman. And you might not agree but IMHO our consumption of the hydrocarbons produce does far more damage then the actually extraction process. Or at least that’s what most climate change scientist claim.

  11. Keith_McClary on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 12:31 pm 


    The harper regime has spent $millions of taxpayer funds on TV ads promoting the tar sands.

  12. Boat on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 12:58 pm 

    Like coal, tar sand production, flaring, with regulation all of it can be done much cleaner. It would just need better tech and a higher price to get there. This is why if the world together would introduce a carbon tax we would be better off if it was balanced and fair.
    Since that won’t happen I say we burn tar sands with the rest and let climate change cull the heard so to speak.

  13. rockman on Sat, 26th Apr 2014 4:38 pm 

    Boat – But there’s the hitch, eh? The is no global authority to do such. And if there were how could they do it without having dictatorial control over the entire world’s population? I get tired at times hearing the problems blamed on politicians and corporations. For the mot part the situation is just as most would have even if they won’t be honest and admit it. If the majority of Canadians didn’t want the oil sands developed it wouldn’t happen regardless of what Harper, the oil companies or the US wants IMHO.

  14. DC on Sun, 27th Apr 2014 1:41 am 

    If the majority of Canadians didn’t want the oil sands developed it wouldn’t happen regardless of what Harper, the oil companies or the US wants IMHO.

    I am glad you added its your opinion there Rockman, because thats all it is. What do you think Canada is, a democracy? The public has virtually zero input or influence on govt policy, just like in the empire. And if ‘we’ have zero influence on govt policy, the idea ‘we’ have something to say about foreign(uS) corporate control is downright laughable.

    The only reason Harper and his amerikan buddies arent laying pipe out to Kitimat now, has less to do with environmentalists, or the ‘public’, but largely because of Indian opposition to more tar-pipes. Harper has no problem busting environmentalists or anti-corporate protesters heads in, if anything he rather enjoys the thought. But when it comes to Indians, govt and corporations walk on eggshells at the prospect of Indians physically opposing oil corporations pipelines. So he treads carefully there-but the ‘public’ has little do with that.

    The ‘public’ has had little, if any effect on tar-sands expansion at all. Again, the only thing ‘stopping’ Harper, or at least slowing him down, is international opposition, like Europe’s fuel standards, or Indian opposition on the ground. But that is limited to pipeline expansion only. The ‘public’ in Canada is roundly ignored on the tar-sands issue.

    Hope that clears a few things up for you. Despite having a near-worthless ‘vote’, in over 3 decades, (for myself), there have been exactly (one) national referendum held-a constitutional fiasco the neo-con govt in power dreamed up in 1992, and thats it

    Surely you have seen this study and its conclusions?

    Substitute ‘Amerika’ for ‘Canada’ and the conclusions would be identical.

  15. Davy, Hermann, MO on Sun, 27th Apr 2014 7:41 am 

    I agree with Rockman on this issue. The ordinary Canadians and Americans have little interest in the whole Tar sands issue. The GP majority wants normality. If it was a high priority the tar sands would end one way or another just like fracking in the states.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *