The U.S. decision on Keystone XL sent a clear message: Tar sands pipeline projects like the ones currently under consideration or subject to litigation in Canada -- TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline, Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project, and Enbridge's Northern Gateway Project -- are not the way of the future.
First, Keystone XL does NOT "bypass the United States," as the President claimed it did in the earlier statement. A consultants report from IHS Energy found in February that "Canadian crude making its way to the USGC (the US Gulf Coast) will likely be refined there, and most of the refined products are likely to be consumed in the United States."
The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has turned into one of the most hotly debated topics in North America. There are so many ways to debate about the pipeline and the tar sands oil that would fill it. But, what does it mean when 10 Nobel Peace Laureates, including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and landmine activist Jody Williams, take a stand and call for a rejection?
For the past two years, there has been a manufactured myth circulating that diluted bitumen is corrosive in pipelines. It began with a report created by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). This report tried to "prove" diluted bitumen is more corrosive than conventional crude. We know that this is not true, but it is easy for the public to believe this myth when the report appears to be genuine and scientific. The reality is, many of the allegations in the NRDC report are completely false, including the one about diluted bitumen.
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.