The throne speech, meant to scare Canadians into supporting rapid pipeline expansion, threatened that a lack of export capacity could turn the tar sands in stranded assets. It went on to raise the alarm that if too much time passes without expansion, international markets will close to tar sands crude. But pipelines across Canada are bound to face similar hurdles.
If the Northern Gateway pipeline is approved, Canada's emissions will rise. But roughly 70-80 per cent of the emissions won't show up on Canada's carbon account, but on China's, where the oil would be burned. And then we can criticize China's rising emissions during international climate talks as further justification for doing nothing but digging up tar sands as fast as possible.