By: Financial Posts
Obama may be on the point of giving Keystone XL a definitive thumbs down
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s comment this week about wanting to grow the economy “from the heart outwards” is destined to haunt him.
Big Dipper Tom Mulcair immediately leapt on the bêtise, claiming “I don’t think you can grow the economy with touchy-feely slogans.” True, except Mulcair’s master plan is based on hiking minimum wages, subsidizing day care jobs, hoisting corporate taxes, and promoting “sustainability.” That represents a mushy combination of the touchy-feely, the angry-bashy, and the outright subversive.
Trudeau doubled his muddledom by suggesting that Stephen Harper wanted to grow the economy “from the top down.” In fact, the Conservative leader is the only one possessing any acquaintance with the bottom-up and best-left-alone nature of economic markets – even if political populism has frequently led him to offend against such inconvenient truth. Indeed, this week the Prime Minister delivered another unfortunate example of cheap populism with a commitment to investigate the role of foreign buyers in boosting Canadian real estate.
A much greater priority should be to investigate the role of foreign interests in trying to tank the Canadian housing market, indeed the whole economy, by retarding resource and pipeline development. Both foreign and foreign-funded environmental NGOs’ disproportionate and often coercive power has been critical in holding up the Keystone XL pipeline, which has become the focus for a larger campaign of misinformation and intimidation regarding the oil sands. And this isn’t just about oil. It’s also about hard rock mining and forestry. The Prime Minister noted last weekend that the NDP “binds itself with groups that are trying to shut down the Canadian forest industry.” Again, the most powerful of those groups are foreign-based, although they have scores of radical local allies. They all tend to have contempt for democracy.
Back in 2008, in the wake of successfully promoting draconian species-at-risk legislation in Liberal Ontario, groups including the Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence and Ecojustice crowed at how they had successfully subverted the review process by excluding northern communities from consultation.
Recently, the ongoing one-way “war in the woods” has seen a welcome counterattack from Resolute Forest Products in the form of a lawsuit against Greenpeace for defamation and interference with economic relations. This particular front in what has so far been a losing battle goes back to the bad-faith Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, CBFA, that was forced on forestry companies by ENGO do-not-buy campaigns. The CBFA was “brokered” by the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts, whose wealth comes, ironically, from the men who pioneered the development of the oil sands. Canadian anti-development campaigns have also been funded by other giant U.S. foundations bearing names such as Rockefeller, Ford, Hewlett, and Packard, all laundered through organizations such as Tides.
According to some reports, Obama may be on the point of giving Keystone XL a definitive thumbs down. His problem is that he has no credible reason. He has repeatedly put off approval on the laughable basis of whether the pipeline might have a “significant” impact on climate. He has also put off approval because of ENGO-ers chaining themselves to the railings of the White House
Radical ENGOs have infiltrated – or perhaps more accurately have been welcomed into – the U.S. administration via what a recent U.S. Senate report called a “revolving green door” between Obama’s chosen administrative weapon, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The EPA, through which Obama is seeking to impose his Clean Power Plan to close down the coal industry, has marshalled sophistic arguments against Keystone XL, while the NRDC has peddled egregious misinformation, seeking to portray diluted bitumen as “frankencrude,” and misrepresenting data on pipeline leaks in Alberta. Three years ago, the NRDC’s Susan Casey-Lefkowitz declared baldly “Keystone XL is not in the national interest.” She also announced that the NRDC was ready to oppose Northern Gateway, which crosses no part of the U.S.
One typically perverse result of the anti-pipeline jihad is that more oil has been diverted to rail which, as a report on Thursday from the Fraser Institute’s Ken Green points out, is more than four times less safe than pipelines (although that doesn’t mean unsafe).
Justin Trudeau has suggested that Stephen Harper is at fault for the state of poor Canadian U.S. relations. In fact, that deterioration is due not to Harper, but to the power of groups such as the NRDC, which feed Obama’s stubborn legacy commitment to being a latter-day King Canute, who will order the oceans to halt their (minuscule) rise. And we shouldn’t forget that while he is truly rolling back Canadian oil, Obama is also promoting more production in Iran. How loopy is that?
Obama displayed his contempt for Canada by appointing a Wall Street bagman, Bruce Heyman, as ambassador. A year ago, during a Q&A session with Frank McKenna, Heyman discounted Canadian concerns about Keystone XL and other issues as like obsessing about a tiny scratch on a car. During a testy exchange with the former Premier of New Brunswick, Heyman lectured that Keystone XL was taking its time to work through the system because the administration had received three million “comments.”
He didn’t note – or perhaps didn’t know – that the vast majority of those comments had been mass-manufactured by the radical environmental movement. Similarly, U.S.-based ForestEthics, a thuggish ally in Greenpeace’s assault on Resolute, boasted about having manufactured 87 per cent of the comments to Canada’s Joint Review Panel on the Northern Gateway pipeline.
When gauging environmentalism’s infiltration of the political process in Canada, it’s worth noting that Trudeau’s chief adviser is Gerald Butts, a former head of the Canadian arm of the WWF, a multinational organization and self-appointed dispenser of “social licence” that hides radical policies and big-money corporate shakedowns behind concern for Pandas and Caribou, and specializes in indoctrinating children. Butts also advised Dalton McGuinty, who presided over not just that species at risk act but also Ontario’s disastrously expensive Green Energy plan.
WWF Canada’s current head, lefty former Toronto mayor David Miller, has suggested that Canadians just say no to legal process and democracy when it comes to projects such as Northern Gateway. As such, he is just echoing the NRDC’s Casey-Leftywitch.
Significantly, the NRDC was ecstatic at the election of Rachel Notley. No doubt they would welcome Tom Mulcair or Justin Trudeau too. From the heart.