President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline taught Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper one thing: it’s time Canada expand its list of oil buyers.
In an interview with the Canadian Wilson Centre think tank, the Prime Minister said the pipeline’s rejection — even if only temporary — was enough to underscore the need to find other buyers for oilsands crude.
“Look, the very fact that a ‘no’ could even be said underscores to our country that we must diversify our energy export markets,” Harper said. “We cannot be, as a country, in a situation where our one and, in many cases, only energy partner could say no to our energy products. We just cannot be in that position.”
The Prime Minister also mentioned that Canada has been selling oil to the United States at a discounted price. But now that the Great White North is expanding its oil export market, that discount will probably disappear.
Get that? The U.S. will not only have less access to Canadian oil but it will also have to pay more for it because the market for oilsands crude is expanding (and therefore more competitive).
“We have taken a significant price hit by virtue of the fact that we are a captive supplier and that just does not make sense in terms of the broader interests of the Canadian economy,” Harper said. “We’re still going to be a major supplier of the United States. It will be a long time, if ever, before the United States isn’t our number one export market, but for us the United States cannot be our only export market.”
“That is not in our interest, either commercially or in terms of pricing,” he added.
Now keep in mind President Obama said Republicans in Congress were to blame because they imposed “an arbitrary timeline on him to decide on the project, which he said did not allow enough time for sufficient reviews,” Sun News Network reports.
But his claim is at odds with the fact that the Keystone project had been under review for three years.
“Supporters of the project, which include big labour unions and the business community, estimate construction jobs alone to build the pipeline would be in the thousands at a time when the U.S. economy is struggling to recover from the recession,” Sun News report.
So where do we stand?
The U.S. has lost its Canadian discount, it will have less access to oilsands crude, and we have a president who blames Republicans in Congress for imposing an “arbitrary timeline” while simultaneously taking credit for “allowing” the pipeline to run from Oklahoma to the Gulf.
But don’t worry, Vice President Joe Biden assures us that “our energy policy is the best it has ever been” (via GOPICYMI):