In the three U.S. presidential candidates' debates, and in one vice presidential candidates' debate, Canada came up frequently. But in the final debate of this election season -- the one devoted nominally to foreign policy -- Canada did not come up at all. Is this cause for alarm or indignation? No.
TransCanada plans a rugged over-mountain route for its proposed Coastal Gaslink pipeline to the Shell Canada liquified natural gas project in Kitimat, B.C., company officials said this week in two presentations. The pipeline would initially carry 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Montney Formation region of northeastern B.C. over 700 kilometres from Groundbirch, near Dawson Creek, to Kitimat.
If the CNOOC/Nexen approval is given, before the Keystone pipeline is approved, a new set of questions for the Americans will be opened up. Letting China Inc. have special access could give President Obama a reason not to approve Keystone, and could also Romney, if he wins, a reason to consider not approving the line as he has pledged to do on Day One.
Domestic provincial considerations have complicated the viability of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project. One major barrier to the development of the Northern Gateway pipeline is the parochial interests of B.C.'s premier, Christy Clark who has demanded a "fair share" of the benefits from the pipeline. Lifting the moratorium on offshore oil and gas activity on Canada's west coast has the potential to resolve inter-provincial in-fighting over pipelines by ensuring British Columbia is a larger beneficiary of Canada's energy renaissance.
Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president of the United States issued his "white paper" on energy policy on Thursday. It calls for an integrated energy market with Canada, the United States and Mexico. Romney also endorses Prime Minister Stephen Harper's environmental fast track "one project, one review" policy.
This emphasis of economy over environment, and indeed, the separation of the two, comes as humanity is undergoing dramatic changes.So we create departments of forests, fisheries and oceans, and environment whose ministers are less concerned with the health, and well-being of forests, fish, oceans than with resources, and the economies that depend on them.
Alberta's election result was a reprieve for the Obama administration. The reasonable Redford government will temper somewhat Harper's enthusiasm for petroleum realpolitik. Had the Wildrose Party won the election, Washington would have been in for a wild ride.
In Thursday's announcement about his approval for a leg of the Keystone pipeline starting in Cushing, Oklahoma, the President spoke optimistically about America's energy future. A few weeks ago, I wrote to Obama urging him to make North America more energy self-sufficient. Here is his reply.
Since it's spring -- or at least, feeling spring-like -- I'm going to start today's roundup with the announcement of a new feature you'll see sprouting in our blog rail this coming week. It's called "Change My Mind": Two bloggers will debate a topical subject and readers will be able to vote on who won.
In other news, it was the week that started -- and ended -- with the Kony 2012 video. Unless you have been living under a rock (or, come to think of it, on the lam in an African jungle), you could not avoid being aware of the controversy surrounding the viral video made by Invisible Children.
The environmental movement has placed an unjustified -- almost frighteningly so -- amount of faith in this June's upcoming Rio +20 conference. This is blind faith, and dangerous for the cause. It is only when we realize that we do not need Rio or the UN to solve climate change that international progress may become possible.
The government falsely accuses us of wanting to shut down all industry and call us hypocrites because we are unable to completely disengage from the fossil fuel economy. They can say we're radical if it makes them sleep better at night, but we prefer the term "rational."
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.
The presidential candidates will talk Keystone on the campaign trail as one more reason to defeat Barack Obama in November, although, historically, both U.S. political parties have taken turns advancing the U.S.-Canada relationship. It would be strange if that tradition came to grief under Barack Obama.
Instead of competitive fedora'd gunsels from the Plateau Mont-Royal hustling truckloads of illicit booze through the New England night, and tommy-gunning each other on the approaches to Rutland, this time it's TransCanada's Keystone project threatening spillage and spoilage of precious ecozones in Nebraska.
The ongoing pipeline debates have become mired in conspiracy theories, distractions, and misinformation. We Canadians have to remember that oil corporations -- whether they're from China, the U.S., Canada, or wherever -- are tenants on our land, not landlords. We should be calling the shots.
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...