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article imageAlberta ad in NY Times — XL Keystone pipeline choice of reason

By Karl Gotthardt     Mar 17, 2013 in Politics
New York - The Alberta government placed an ad in the NY Times in response to an editorial published by the Times on March 10. The $30,000 ad supporting the $7 billion dollar pipeline asserts that the Keystone XL pipeline is the choice of reason.
On Sunday March 10, the NY Times editorial titled "When to say no" referred to the latest State Department latest environmental assessment, stating that there were no accompanying recommendations and gave the recommendation of the Times.
The State Department will release a fuller review in early summer, and at some point after that the White House will decide. That decision will say a lot about whether Mr. Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, are willing to exert global leadership on the climate change issue.
In itself, the Keystone pipeline will not push the world into a climate apocalypse. But it will continue to fuel our appetite for oil and add to the carbon load in the atmosphere. There is no need to accept it.
The Alberta government has been dedicated to sell the oilsands to US legislators and businessmen and the Times article obviously hit a nerve. Earlier this week the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, Thomas Mulcair met with Nancy Pelosi, who offered her thoughts on the pipeline after the meeting.
According to the Hill Nancy Pelosi said that the pipeline would do nothing to make the country more energy independent and would create far fewer jobs than it supporters claim.
It just is amazing to me that they can say [it would create] 'tens of thousands of jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,' " Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. "The oil is for export and the jobs are nowhere near that.
Pelosi quoted a radio broadcast she was tuned into on Thursday morning, where a lobbyist was touting the value of the pipeline in terms of jobs and pump prices. She said the proponents claim for tens of thousands of new jobs was just not true. She said that the claims were distorted and questioned why there just couldn't be a discussion on the facts.
Mulcair's visit and the remarks by House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi were criticized by the Canadian conservative government and Premiers Redford of Alberta and Wall of Saskatchewan.
Since President Obama is expected to reach a decision on the project, probably by August, Alberta is in the middle of a public relations campaign in an attempt to sway American minds, especially those of decision makers.
The Alberta government placed a half page ad in the NY Times, the media organization that recommended that Obama say no. According to local news, the Alberta government attempted to get permission to do a guest editorial first, but were turned down.
According to the Globe and Mail the ad acknowledges the environmental concerns, but stresses that the pipeline is much more than that.
According to 660 News Radio the ad ties in with such core American values as protecting the environment, developing clean technology, and energy security. The ad says that it will provide lots of jobs for the middle class and returning veterans.
America’s desire to effectively balance strong environmental policy, clean technology development, energy security and plentiful job opportunities for the middle class and returning war veterans mirrors that of the people of Alberta. This is why choosing to approve Keystone XL and oil from a neighbor, ally, friend, and responsible energy developer is the choice of reason.”
The ad also makes the case that the oilsands have been unfairly scapegoated despite much larger emitters burning coal on both sides of the border and around the world. Redford has made the case before and the ad points out that greenhouse gas emission are only one tenth of one percent of global emissions. Alberta is the only jurisdiction in North America that has a price on carbons for large emitters, charging $15 per tonne of carbons.
The Alberta push to sell the Keystone XL pipeline may be futile. The battle lines have obviously been drawn. The NY Times challenged Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry adopt a broader view and take a stand.
President Obama finds himself between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand more than 40,000 good paying union jobs may be in play, while the push is on to reject the project by his environmental base. Meanwhile Congress is working on a bipartisan bill to remove the president from the decision making process. Naturally the president has veto power should it be passed in Congress. Regardless of what the president decides he will be criticized. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.
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