Canadian Minister Accuses His Country’s Environmentalists Of Behaving Like American Environmentalists

In an open letter, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver accuses Canadian environmental activists of trying to delay the development of the Keystone XL pipeline to the point where building it is no longer economically feasible.

Just like the Americans do it:

Canada is on the edge of an historic choice: to diversify our energy markets away from our traditional trading partner in the United States or to continue with the status quo.

Virtually all our energy exports go to the US. As a country, we must seek new markets for our products and services and the booming Asia-Pacific economies have shown great interest in our oil, gas, metals and minerals. For our government, the choice is clear: we need to diversify our markets in order to create jobs and economic growth for Canadians across this country. We must expand our trade with the fast growing Asian economies. We know that increasing trade will help ensure the financial security of Canadians and their families.

Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade. Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydro-electric dams.

These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda. They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects. They use funding from foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest. They attract jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world to lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources. Finally, if all other avenues have failed, they will take a quintessential American approach: sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further. They do this because they know it can work. It works because it helps them to achieve their ultimate objective: delay a project to the point it becomes economically unviable.

“That bit about the “quintessential American approach” hurts only because it’s true,” writes Ronald Bailey. Indeed.

Obama’s attempt to punt a decision about the Keystone XL pipeline beyond the 2012 elections has been cast as dithering and indecisiveness on his part. But, in reality, Obama was being very decisive. Delay is exactly what the environmentalists want. They don’t have the political clout to get their way in Washington, even with Democrats holding the Senate and the White House, so they resort to a sort of defacto prohibition through obstruction.

It’s a tactic swiped from the gun control movement. Absent the political clout necessary to actually ban guns, the gun control folks push to make it so difficult to buy, possess and carry a gun that nobody bothers to do it.

The environmentalists don’t want environmental protection. They want us to stop using oil and gas, and their tactic of the moment is to make oil and gas development so difficult in this country that companies can’t or won’t do it.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Camsaure

    It is amazing that a country as socialist as Canada realizes this before the United States and actually admits this also. A sad statement on how far left the progressives have managed to move us.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Unfortunately, we’re less far behind in the socialist game than we chose to think…  :/

  • SigFan

    Obama’s decision to delay the Keystone pipeline is nothing more or less than pandering to the enviro-whacko’s to get their votes in November.  What is amazing is that he gets away with calling Congress “do nothing”, while he does exactly the same thing he accuses them of.  If the Canadians follow-through and sell their product to the Asian market, it will have some impact on oil prices here, as greater supply on the world market will have a downward effect on global prices.  Too bad though that all the people that would have good paying jobs building, operating and maintaining it won’t get that opportunity.  Guess Obama will just have to add them to the welfare roles – more votes for him and Democrats that way too!

  • two_amber_lamps

    Proof Positive:  Here’s the “unwritten” legislation that’s designed to use the EPA and obstructionism to choke the energy industry.  And now the Canadians are getting tired of this crap and will probably send their product to the Chi-coms… who can blame them?  Meanwhile we’ll keep sending our treasure to the Middle East to thankless islamo-fascists and supporters thereof…  oh, yes… good idea leftoids!  Maybe you can buy your friends?  We’ve been doing it for decades, we gotta break thru sooner or later right?  Just as if you keep pushing socialist agendas we will arrive at the Glorious World of Next Tuesday…   next weeek for sure, if not the week after next!

  • WOOF

    As the Canuck said “We must expand our trade with the fast growing Asian economies”.

     Americans shall  be party to shipping Canadian petroleum products to the Chinese Communists and American refinery  products will be diverted.

    This will lower domestic  intended refined production supply and raise domestic prices.
    (At the pump)

    Oil for the lamps of China.

    • JustRuss

      Oil is a global product that will be sold to the highest bidder regardless whether it comes out of the ground in the Middle East or the Southwest. More supply of oil on the global market will cause prices to come down. The nice thing about having our own supply of oil is not that it brings the price down (though it does) but because we are no longer at the mercy of countries halfway around the world who can manipulate the supply to suit their ends.

      • WOOF

        What’s in it for us ?
        Pie in the sky prices will trickle down?
        What should supply us, won’t.

        • Jfisher17

          “What should supply us..”  What should supply us, is us. Drill baby, drill. 

    • two_amber_lamps

      Canuck?  Is that some unrestrained ethnocentricism I detect there?  Where’s your sense of tooooo-lerance Mr. Woof?  Your sense of internationalism?  Someone report him to the block commissar!

      • WOOF

        I am acting block commissar, and it will be recorded in my book.
        i didn’t mean to smear the guy as a practitioner of some obscure winter sport. I thought Canuck generic for Canadian.

        • two_amber_lamps


          Copy down this number and report to the train station at 4am tomorrow morning.  Present yourself to the directorate of transportation for further processing.  Bring warm clothes and a shovel.

  • mikemc1970

    A socialist is a socialist, no matter where they come from.

  • Wesley Fargo

    follow the money, who is funding our environmental wacko’s those who benifit from their obstruction?

     the Chi-Coms and the middle east,  who is funding these Canadians?  follow the money again, you will find the answer.

  • sbark

    The Tar Sands area is actually getting cleaned up with the Oil production.   Observerers that have went up there say before production is opened in a area, its like a LaBrea Tar pit, with tar oil seeping up to the ground level everywhere,   after the oil is pumped and the area reclaimed it actually looks like a inhabitable area for wildlife.