This week, the U.S. State Department gave the Keystone XL pipeline an environmental thumbs up. In its latest report on the project, the department stated that Keystone wouldn't have a significant environmental impact and wouldn't create unacceptable levels of greenhouse gases. So how much longer can Obama stall before making a decision? Can he ignore the 42,000 jobs and $3.4-billion the report suggests Keystone would bring to the U.S. economy? Probably yes. Any decision Obama makes will inevitably alienate part of his constituency, either environmentalists or unionists, so he has an interest in putting it off as long as possible.
The Conservatives have lobbied vigorously in support of Calgary-based TransCanada's plan to build a $7-billion pipeline to take up to 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. As a result, environmentalists have used social media and traditional protests to heap scorn on Canada.
After Harper's China visit, Canada must be ruthless when it comes to its own interests and should visit other major Asia-Pacific nations. This is not about friendship, but about business. This country must realize that it can and should leverage its resources to get value-added and manufacturing export business.
Neither opponents nor advocates of the Keystone XL pipeline have entertained auxiliary projects that would reconcile both concerns, such as hydropower. Given the undeniable environmental and economic benefits, it's difficult to understand why or how policy makers have failed to recognize it as a viable solution.
Note to Occupiers: If there was a week when populist movements managed to scare the beejezus out of elected officials, this was it. In a surprise move, President Obama on Wednesday rejected the permit to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, upon recommendations from the State Department. And the growing peoples' movement also managed to beat back the hugely contested SOPA and PIPA bills, aimed at curbing illegal music, movie and software sharing.
Meanwhile, in home news, a number of our contributors were experimenting with inhalants -- legal and illegal...