Trudeau's energy strategy gets us nowhere

A little more than a year ago, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau went to the very heart of oil country – Calgary’s Petroleum Club – to deliver an address on energy policy.
His goal was to reassure oil executives that if he became prime minister he would support the energy industry. He didn’t say so, but his implication was that a Justin Trudeau government would never repeat the National Energy Program the Pierre Trudeau government imposed on the West in 1980.
He said the environmentalists who were then standing in the way of the Keystone XL pipeline were wrong “to point to our oilsands and make them, entirely unfairly, the poster child for climate change.”
The greenies’ belief “that if you block the pipelines, you can shut down the oilsands and save the planet" was, according to Trudeau as “simplistic as it is wrong.”
Then Trudeau advanced a bizarre theory he had stated before: It was all Stephen Harper’s fault.
It wasn’t pressure from naïve American eco-activists or threats from ultra-rich Democratic donors or U.S. President Barack Obama’s domestic political calculations that was holding up Keystone’s construction. According to Trudeau, it was Harper’s reluctance to give in to climate alarmism and to play nicely with the White House.
So Trudeau proposed a “fresh start” to Keystone and other energy developments. A Trudeau government, he pledged, would devise a nation “carbon-reduction strategy” that included a “mature discussion of carbon pricing.” (Read carbon tax.)
And he would “restore Canada’s international reputation” as a leader in fighting climate change. That, Trudeau was sure, would “create jobs and spur investment.”
Harper’s refusal to play the climate change scare game was the reason Keystone and other pipelines weren’t being built, according to Trudeau. Let the Liberals work out a real national climate-change strategy and Western oil would be flowing freely in all directions.
So just how is Prime Minister Selfie’s environmental genuflecting approach going? To hear Trudeau’s cheerleaders at most media outlets tell it, things couldn’t be better.
Did you see how amazing his visit to Washington, D.C. was? Did you notice how well he and President Obama got along? How Obama praised him and joked with Trudeau as if they were old pals? Did you notice the designer gowns their wives wore and how the Obamas invited the Trudeau's to wave to the crowds from the White House balcony? That almost never happens.
But overlooked in the gushing coverage of Mr. Trudeau Goes to Washington was the announcement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that when it comes to pipelines to the U.S., Canada need not apply.
On the eve of the Trudeau's arrival in the U.S. capital, Kerry told the CBC that America already has enough pipelines, it doesn’t need any more. So no matter how much Trudeau cripples this nation with new enviro regulations and taxes, we’re not getting a major pipeline to U.S. refineries and ports, period.
Don’t even bother filling out the forms.
Trudeau’s government has already committed billions of Canadian tax dollars to “green” projects in the developing world. Trudeau has led the largest Western contingent to last December’s U.N. climate festival in Paris, held a first ministers’ conference on climate change, effectively killed the Northern Gateway pipeline by decreeing an end to West Coast tanker traffic, promised expensive new carbon taxes and refused to give enthusiastic support to the Energy East pipeline.
And, of course, he played lib-left footsies with Obama while American and Canadian journalists swooned.
Yet his strategy is getting Canada nowhere. Just wait for him to blame that on Stephen Harper, too.

By: Lorne Gunter, Edmonton Sun - March 15, 2016


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