Ambassador: Rejection of Keystone Would ‘Definitely Strain’ U.S.-Canadian Relations

None

View of the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta Province, Canada on October 25, 2009. Greenpeace is calling for an end to oil sands mining in the region due to their greenhouse gas emissions and have recently staged sit-ins which briefly halted production at several mines. At an estimated 175 billion barrels, Alberta's oil sands are the second largest oil reserve in the world behind Saudi Arabia, but they were neglected for years, except by local companies, because of high extraction costs. Since 2000, skyrocketing crude oil prices and improved extraction methods have made exploitation more economical, and have lured several multinational oil companies to mine the sands.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Feb. 10, 2014, 2:10 a.m.

Canada’s am­bas­sad­or to the U.S. isn’t sug­ar­coat­ing the dip­lo­mat­ic weight of the loom­ing White House de­cision on the Key­stone XL pipeline.

Gary Doer told the news ser­vice Platts that he’s op­tim­ist­ic about win­ning ap­prov­al, while warn­ing that re­jec­tion would be “per­ceived as be­ing polit­ic­al” and “def­in­itely strain” U.S.-Ca­na­dian re­la­tions. He ar­gued that the pro­ject has met the vari­ous U.S. bench­marks, cit­ing the State De­part­ment’s en­vir­on­ment­al ana­lys­is re­leased Jan. 31.

“The re­port ba­sic­ally says that [oil from Al­berta’s oil sands] either will come down on rail with high­er GHGs, and it is now com­ing down on rail, or it can come down on a pipeline with less GHGs,” he told Platts En­ergy Week TV, us­ing the ac­ronym for green­house gases.

“So I guess I would say, based on this re­port and based on the pres­id­ent’s own stated [cli­mate] cri­ter­ia, that if the pro­ject is re­jec­ted it would be per­ceived as be­ing polit­ic­al and not on the basis of the pub­lic in­terest of the United states and Canada,” Doer ad­ded in the in­ter­view that aired Sunday.

Doer and oth­er pipeline back­ers are push­ing hard to cap­it­al­ize on the State De­part­ment re­port.

But State’s ana­lys­is is just one factor in play. A Wall Street Journ­al story on Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry’s loom­ing per­mit de­cision high­lights an­oth­er one.

“One point Mr. Kerry will con­sider is the im­port­ance of the U.S. tak­ing a lead role in ad­dress­ing cli­mate is­sues,” states the story that ran over the week­end.

Kerry, who has pri­or­it­ized cli­mate change dur­ing his long polit­ic­al ca­reer, may be wrest­ling with wheth­er ap­prov­al would hurt the U.S. in glob­al cli­mate policy plan­ning.

Con­sider European Uni­on cli­mate chief Con­nie Hede­gaard’s com­ments a year ago. She said re­ject­ing Key­stone would be an “ex­tremely strong sig­nal” on cli­mate from the second-term Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

So, the Journ­al piece is a re­mind­er that the fate of Key­stone could rest on more than fine-grain ana­lyses of fu­ture rail ca­pa­city and oil-sands pro­duc­tion out­looks.

In oth­er Key­stone XL news, The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ports on the up­com­ing State De­part­ment in­spect­or gen­er­al re­port on State’s en­vir­on­ment­al ana­lys­is of Key­stone.

En­vir­on­ment­al­ists have al­leged that En­vir­on­ment­al Re­sources Man­age­ment, the con­sult­ing firm that State re­tained to craft the ana­lys­is, suffered from con­flicts of in­terest.

“Ac­cord­ing to in­di­vidu­als fa­mil­i­ar with the in­spect­or gen­er­al’s probe, who spoke on the con­di­tion of an­onym­ity be­cause the re­port is not fi­nal, a cur­rent draft sug­gests the agency ex­am­ine its con­flict-of-in­terest pro­cess but does not find that State De­part­ment of­fi­cials vi­ol­ated agency rules in re­tain­ing ERM,” the Post re­ports.

The ana­lys­is in ques­tion es­sen­tially found that the Key­stone pipeline is un­likely to cause a surge in green­house-gas emis­sions (al­though it in­cludes an al­tern­at­ive mod­el­ing scen­ario that’s less san­guine about Key­stone’s cli­mate foot­print).

En­vir­on­ment­al­ists bat­tling the pipeline kept up their cam­paign over the week­end.

“The dirti­est oil on the plan­et comes from those tar sands. We can’t let that oil out of the ground. That’s what the sci­ent­ists say. We need to leave a sig­ni­fic­ant amount of our fossil-fuel re­serves in the ground if we have any chance of solv­ing the cli­mate crisis,” said League of Con­ser­va­tion Voters Pres­id­ent Gene Kar­p­in­ski dur­ing a Sunday in­ter­view with C-SPAN.

What We're Following See More »
‘PULLING A TRUMP’
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Source:
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
1 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
1 days ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×