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Trudeau won’t fight for Keystone through NAFTA rules

Instead, Trudeau will just concentrate on improving Canada-US relations, said Trade Minister Mary Ng.




Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won’t bother to file a free trade complaint over US President Joe Biden’s killing of the Keystone XL pipeline project, says the federal trade minister.

Instead Trudeau will just concentrate on improving Canada-US relations, said Trade Minister Mary Ng.

“I don’t think that getting into a trade war with the U.S. is in the best interests of Canadian workers or the energy sector,” Ng said told Bloomberg.

“What we’ve got to do is find that common ground where Canadian interests are viewed and seen as American interests as well.”

Biden killed the pipeline project on the first day he was in office last month.

Ng said Trudeau’s strategy is to now convince Biden protectionism will hurt U.S. businesses.

“It’s the outcome that’s the important thing here,” Ng told Bloomberg.

“The outcome is that Canadian businesses and Canadian workers aren’t impacted and that we continue to have access to that market, that our supply chains don’t get disrupted.”

Trudeau has argued he did lobby Biden to keep the project alive in a phone call in November.

In a letter to Trudeau last month, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney claims when Biden cancelled the project, he broke several free trade regulations.

“At the very least, I call upon the government of Canada to press the US Administration to compensate TC Energy, and the Alberta government, for billions of dollars of cost incurred in the construction of Keystone XL to date,” Kenney’s letter said.

“These costs were incurred on the assumption that the United States had a predictable regulatory framework, and based on the Presidential permit authorizing the Keystone XL border crossing which was installed in the summer of 2019.

“For the United States to retroactively cancel the permit, on the basis of which investments were made is a clear violation of the investor-protection provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which were extended as a result of your government’s successful negotiation of the Canada-US_Mexico Trade Agreement.

Alberta has billions of dollars tied up in the project, with $1.5 billion of taxpayers’ money handed to TC Energy already, along with $6 billion in loan guarantees.

And he again urged Trudeau to fight for laid off oil workers the same way he battled against President Donald Trump’s 2018 tariffs on aluminum and steel and, if lobbying attempts fail, to impose economic sanctions against the US.

During the Democratic primaries and campaign, Biden vowed to kill the pipeline, large portions of which have already been built in Alberta. He made the vow before Alberta invested it’s money.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, have also said in the past they would put an end to fracking, a promise they did not repeat during the campaign.

The Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas.

The new pipeline would have run from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.


Analyst says Enbridge Line 5 fight shows Trudeau, Biden playing both sides on energy issues

The Trudeau and Biden administration are playing both sides of the coin in energy issues.




Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said the feds plan to take “whatever measures” to sustain the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said he wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do whatever he can to save the line.

But on the other side of the 49th parallel, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer cites environmental concerns as justification for cancelling the critical pipeline, which transports Alberta-based crude oil and natural gas liquids to refineries across the Midwest and Ontario. 

Jason Hayes, Director of Environmental Policy to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, doesn’t buy that line of reasoning.

“The state of Michigan appears more concerned about following a Sierra Club scorecard than it is about the broad negative impacts the closure of Line 5 will have on the region,” said Hayes.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg publicly called for the closure of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, as did Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland at the 2018 Netroots Nation convention.

“It’s time to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure in America. No more pipelines!” Haaland said.

By prioritizing the demands of progressive green pressure groups in the Democratic Party over a critical trading partner’s concerns, the President Joe Biden administration is trying to play both sides of the coin in energy issues, said Hayes.

“While other pipelines exist to transport oil to the U.S. from Canada, the threatened closure of the Line 5 pipeline sends a damaging and profoundly short-sighted, but still apparent and unmistakable, signal to one of Michigan’s largest trading partners,” said Hayes.

“Canadian officials, state legislators across the state of Michigan, the Governor of Ohio, building trade representatives in Canada and the U.S., and others, have also voiced their objections. The Consul General of Canada in Detroit, Joe Comartin, has noted that shuttering Line 5 will negatively impact refineries in Sarnia, Ont. and Quebec.” 

Democratic senators have also said Biden is going down the wrong path.

“The pipeline is essential to Sarnia-Lambton and the region at large. It is responsible for 50,000 jobs in related industries across the border — everything from refineries and downstream processors to home heating, jet fuel, and agriculture, said Marilyn Gladu, MP to Sarnia-Lambton.

She pushed back against Whitmer’s claims, as environmental studies indicate alternative means of transporting crude, including trucks and railcars, are less safe than the pipeline. She showed great concern over Canada’s limited pipeline capacity, as “there aren’t enough of them (trucks and railcars) to move the same volume as the pipeline, daily”. 

A shutdown would lead to fuel shortages and price increases across Ontario and Quebec, and further dependency on foreign supply to meet regional demands.

“My colleagues and I are doing everything we can to prevent this from happening, and secure jobs and energy for the region,” said Gladu, who called on all Canadians to sign Petition e-3081, which demands the prime minister defend Canada’s economic interests regarding Enbridge Line 5. 

She hopes the petition will pressure the prime minister to appeal to Biden to intervene and prevent Whitmer from inflicting overwhelming and catastrophic economic effects on Ontario, Quebec, Wisconsin and Ohio.

With the petition set to collect its final signatures Monday, Mike Simpson, Executive Director of Operations of the Canadian Energy Centre, or the “energy war room,” says it is too early to speculate on the actions the federal government might take. 

“We have asked our supporters to sign the petition and help grow it. What this shows is we need all Canadians to engage in this debate and support energy,” said Simpson.

However, he argues signing the petition is but one mechanism to alleviate concerns for the country’s key economic driver. 

“Canadians should talk to their neighbours and networks so that the federal government can realize supporting oil and gas is the right thing to do,” said Simpson.

“Every single person uses more carbon-based products in their daily lives than they probably even realize. If you look at the covid situation, the number of plastics needed for masks and PPE etc., are all based on fossil fuels.

“Decision-makers need to realize this is not an us vs them situation. It needs to be understood advocacy for the industry is not just government or industry responsibility. It is government, supporters, industry, workers, and everyday Canadians – once this is recognized, that path forward will be easier to follow.

“Climate change does not stop at our borders. It is a global problem, and we believe responsibly developed Canadian oil and gas is a big part of the solution.” 

Dhaliwal is the Western Standard’s Edmonton reporter.

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U.S. environmental groups poured $2.4 billion in 2019 to further climate change ideology

Ludwig warned had the finances from these groups also been included, the final numbers might be double or even three times current figures.




New research from the Capital Research Center, an American-based think tank, reveals environmental groups poured a record $2.4 billion in 2019 to further left-wing climate change ideology.

“This stunning figure contrasts with the environmentalist movement’s self-image as David vs. Goliath: impoverished, idealistic eco-activists outgunned by powerful interests in the “fossil fuel” industry,” said its Senior Investigative Researcher, Hayden Ludwig.

He said Liberals have long claimed the Right outguns environmentalists despite holding the country’s best-funded special interests.

However, a 2018 misleading study measuring the income of broadly right-leaning groups focused on a host of issues, including welfare, telecom regulation, agricultural policy, etc., to produce the claim conservatives spend $1 billion per year to stop action on climate change, amounting to a 10 to 1 disparity with environmental groups.

CRC examined the finances of 166 left-leaning policy, activist, litigation, and research organizations along with any associated political action committees (PACs) that primarily focus on climate change or environmental regulation. 

The think-tank captured their revenues, expenditures, and the amounts of grants they paid out in 2019 using publicly available Form 990 findings.

Their inquiry found these organizations raked in $2.67 billion from donors, nearly all of whom remain undisclosed. These organizations, including special interests, spent a whopping $2.43 billion paying staffers, attorneys, activists, professional fundraisers, and researchers and lobbying for environmental regulations. 

“In the case of 501(c)(4) groups and PACs, they also helped elect Democrats and oppose Republicans in the 2019-2020 election cycle,” said Ludwig, as mostly left-leaning nonprofits received $435 million in grants.

“These figures don’t include lobbying by private firms for renewables subsidies, left-wing groups with a broader focus than climate change or the environment or eco-Right groups, self-identified “conservative” organizations that support carbon taxes and other global warming policies.” 

He warned had the finances from these groups also been included, the final numbers might be double or even three times current figures.

“The tax status of these organizations sheds light on the distribution of funds within the environmental movement,” said Ludwig. 

With 111 of 166 groups IRS-designated 501(c)(3) public charities, donations provided to them are tax-deductible. The 501(c)(3) nonprofits account for the overwhelming majority of finances CRC traced.

CRC traced 83.95 per cent or $2.24 billion of the $2.7 billion in total revenues uncovered, 83.1% of $2.02 billion of the $2.4 billion in total expenditures found, and 78.5% or $342 million of the $435 million in grants paid.

Of the 166 groups, 46 are 501(c)(4) advocacy nonprofits, which are permitted to spend significantly more on lobbying than their 501(c)(3) counterparts. 

The top 20 biggest spenders also number among the loudest voices pushing environmental regulations:

  1. World Wildlife Fund: $236 million
  2. Environmental Defense Fund: $188.6 million
  3. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): $173 million
  4. Sierra Club: $150 million
  5. World Resources Institute: $120.8 million
  6. National Audubon Society: $118 million
  7. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): $109.9 million
  8. Sierra Club Foundation: $93.9 million
  9. National Wildlife Federation: $89.7 million
  10. EarthJustice: $78 million
  11. League of Conservation Voters: $66.5 million
  12. NextGen Climate Action Committee: $56.8 million
  13. NextGen Climate Action: $54 million
  14. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): $53.5 million
  15. Rocky Mountain Institute: $45 million
  16. Resources Legacy Fund: $42.3 million
  17. Union of Concerned Scientists: $40.7 million
  18. Greenpeace: $37.7 million
  19. Oceana: $36 million
  20. League of Conservation Voters Education Fund: $34.8 million

“These are the titans of “Green” Activism Inc. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars to pass the socialist Green New Deal and promote radical global warming legislation that promises to jack up household electricity prices and enable the Left’s war on science,” said Ludwig.

Dhaliwal is the Western Standard’s reporter based in Edmonton.

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OUELLETTE: To save Canada’s energy industry, we need to end dependence on the US market

“The construction of new Canadian pipelines would maximize the volume of fuels transported by the safest, greenest means, and allow us to seize a golden opportunity to diversify the markets for our oil.”




Guest column from Miguel Ouellette, Economist and Director of Operations at the Montreal Economic Institute

Oil: Let’s put an end to our dependence on the United States

By Miguel Ouellette, Economist and Director of Operations at the Montreal Economic Institute

Imagine for a moment that you are the head of a popcorn company. You know that the demand for popcorn is strong, and that contrary to what anti-fast food lobby groups say, demand will continue to increase in the coming years. But you have a problem: 98 per cent of your popcorn is purchased by one single cinema, because you didn’t diversify your client base. This cinema, however, has just named a new CEO who, to please some nutritionist friends, wants to keep your popcorn out. What do you do? Would it maybe be a good idea to try to sell your popcorn in other cinemas in order to save your company, and all its associated jobs?

Canadian oil is in a similar situation. His very first day in office, new US President Joe Biden revoked Keystone XL’s permit, and this project will likely not be his last victim. As in our hypothetical example, 98 per cent of Canada’s oil exports go to our southern neighbour. What should Canada and its industry do, then, to sell its product? The answer: Build new pipelines in order to reduce the risk associated with this one-client strategy and maximize oil export revenues.

According to the latest estimates, global oil demand will grow by 9 per cent by 2045, and by more than 40 per cent in a number of Asian countries. New pipelines would allow Canada to transport its oil to a larger number of refineries and terminals that could then export it to these new markets.

We therefore need more pipeline infrastructure to diversify our exports, and the Canadian government should do everything in its power to allow these projects to be completed. Putting all of our eggs in the same basket is a risky strategy. The Keystone XL cancellation alone represents over $50 million a day in potential exports for Canada that have fallen through.

Over the past five years, the federal government collected an average of $14 billion a year from the oil and gas industry. This tax revenue totals more than half of the sum of all provincial deficits during the pandemic. And the energy sector directly or indirectly employs over 830,000 workers, and accounts for around 10 per cent of our GDP. It’s therefore not just “Big Oil” that would benefit from such a strategy, but all Canadians.

Finally, it bears repeating: Pipelines are the safest and “greenest” method of transporting oil. New pipeline projects compromise neither our safety nor the protection of our natural environment. On average, over 99.99 per cent of the oil transported by federally regulated pipeline arrives without incident every year. Not to mention that transporting fuel by pipeline emits from 61 per cent to 77 per cent fewer GHGs than transport by rail.

In short, the construction of new Canadian pipelines would maximize the volume of fuels transported by the safest, greenest means, and allow us to seize a golden opportunity to diversify the markets for our oil.

So I ask you again: If you were the boss, what would you do?

Guest column from Miguel Ouellette, Economist and Director of Operations at the Montreal Economic Institute

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