Canada sells more oil to the United States than any other country does.  We planned to sell another 830,000 barrels a day through the Keystone project carrying oil from Alberta to Texas.  But a telephone conversation between Hillary Clinton and President Obama has delayed the Keystone pipeline until after the 2012 election and maybe has killed it for good.  This is another example of Obama refusing to make hard decisions and punting them down the road.

Angered by this political delay, the Harper government lost no time in talking tough.  The government will now look to Asia for new oil markets.  Canada’s ace in the hole is a Northern Gateway pipeline which will carry Alberta oil to the  B.C. coast, then ship it to countries like China.

Harper also announced yesterday that Canada will formally ask to join the Trans-Pacific-Partnership trade group of nine Asia-Pacific  countries.

Does this threat to sell oil to Asia strike you as an attempt to punish the United States for its perfidy on delaying the Keystone pipeline?

Can Canada afford to get into a trade war with the U.S.?

Should Canada go through with its threat to sell our oil to Asia?

What do you think?


  1. 1

    It isn`t as if this northern pipline can be assembled from a kit on sale at Rona. From what I see in the Gazette,it wouldn`t be completed untii 2017.

    But yes,there`s no reason to delay the Keystone line untill after the elections. If the objection was the way the company treated the Americans like a bunch of colonials,then say so.

    In a broader sense, we`re all going to have to understand that keeping our society going will require oil from imperfect soureces,and we`ll have to live with the consequences.

    Our main market will always be the Americans, regardless of the current leader they have, or the state of their economy. we can threaten to sell the stuff elsewhere, but the U. S. is still the logical place for it.

  2. 2

    Certainly, we should sell oil where ever there is a market, and where we can make the most profit. A pipeline to the BC coastal port sounds cheaper than to Texas.
    I don’t think that our government should threaten, just act in our best interest!
    The USA has great concerns about their environment-rightly so, and we can’t be helpful in their decision-making on that score.
    If the USA decides to buy later on, we can negotiate a deal with them as well. Surely they don’t expect us to sit idly by.. Eh? 🙂
    I am still “perturbed” about the beef ban they imposed on us unfairly, for so long.

  3. 3
    Barbara Says:

    Every nation does what it believes to be in its best interests at the moment. It is not a question of “perfidy”! Good grief! Nebraskans did not want the pipeline to pass through an important aquifer area. It takes time to re-rout the pipeline. Meanwhile, sell the oil to another customer.

    IF there is a connection to the next election, it does not surprise me. In the USA system, the President is always looking over his/her shoulder toward his/her re-election. The President is only free to push his/her agenda with full force during the second term because no one can hold it against him/her in the following election. You work with the system you got and none is perfect.

  4. 4
    Neil McKenty Says:

    The problem for Obama is that he has kicked so many decisions down the road he is accused of leading from behind.

  5. 5
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    I really don’t thomk this falls under the category of a “trade war” which usually happens when one party is upset with the other party’s alleged unfair trade practises. This is an instance in which one party is refusing to purchase a desperately wanted and needed product, one that would create several humdred thousand jobs.

    I think Harper is doing the only reasonable thing, under the circumstances, by courting the Asian market. And Obama better pray to the gods that oil prices don’t spike up during October of 2012, as he goes into the homestretch of the election campaign because the Republicans will win just by reminding the voters what he did with the pipeline decision.

  6. 6
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Barbara, here’s an exception to your observation that presidents look over their shoulders and make politically expedient decisions to get reelected:

    Gerald Ford’s decision to pardon Richard Nixon. More than anything else, that cost him the election against Jimmy Carter. Ford did it to get the “national nightmare of Waregate” behind us” — something that was arguably for the good of the country — but it really pissed off a big chunk of the electorate who held it against him on voting day.

  7. 7

    I like Mr. Obama. I am disappointed with his performance but wonder if anyone could have done any better in those circumstances.
    Having said that, he can’t win approval no matter what he tries to do, congress will thwart him at every move (Don’t you love that word…thwart).
    Considering the field of Republicans for President,he should win the election as long as he doesn’t make any bold moves.
    Tony, we are in agreement.

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