Canada's environmental and social performance on oil production is second to none.
Vermonters have always been happy to "let their freak flags fly," as the old expression goes. From Ben & Jerry to Bill McKibben to Sen. Bernie Sanders, a strong connection with Vermont's alternative 1960s crowd is considered good for business.
No wonder. Back in the psychedelic era, magazines and newspapers placed the number of "Vermont hippies" at fully one-third of the state's population. It sometimes feels like those numbers have only grown ever since.
So things can get a little weird in Vermont. In fact, we expect it. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the two hippie tycoons who founded an ice-cream empire that they later sold to food conglomerate Unilever for more than US$300 million, have had a long history of mixing it up in the media in support of the latest causes of Vermont's alternative crowd.
And in that way, at least, the ice cream barons are a lot like Vermont climate alarmist and 350.org spokesman McKibben, or self-described socialist Sen. Sanders. They recognize a good bandwagon when they see one, and they'll jump on if it has any chance of advancing their own respective profiles and agenda.
That's why these four members of the Green Mountain State's alternative elite have all renewed their protest against Keystone XL. And it's why Jane Fonda, Leo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Mia Farrow have piled on as well. Given their personal CO2 footprints, they're not the most consistent anti-oil activists you'll meet. But Jane, Leo, Mark and Mia are always up for a good demo -- even if they have to fly there on the occasional private jet.
So when president Donald Trump signed an order this week allowing Keystone XL to move forward and opening the door for 4,500 construction jobs in Canada alone, activist Twitter feeds started generating enough hot air to melt a few dozen tons of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey Swirl.
"President Trump ignored the voices of millions and put the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of our planet," roared Sen. Sanders over Twitter on Tuesday.
President Trump ignored the voices of millions and put the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of our planet. https://t.co/veEc0AJeeH
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 24, 2017