Times editorial demonstrates weakness of anti-Keystone argument – by Kelly McParland (National Post – March 13, 2013)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

The New York Times has urged President Barack Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, in an editorial that serves to underline the weakness of the opposition case.

“Saying no to the pipeline will not stop Canada from developing the tar sands,” the Times concedes, before arguing: “but it will force the construction of new pipelines through Canada itself. And that will require Canadians to play a larger role in deciding whether a massive expansion of tar sands development is prudent.”

That’s the crux of its case: that blocking a $7 billion project that would create jobs in an economy that is desperate for them, would allegedly make Canadians think twice about expanding the oil sands.

Canada, of course, has pondered that very question for a very long time. The oil sands are not some new project that popped up on the prairie a week ago, while Canadians were looking the other way. Large-scale development has been under way for decades, and has weathered many a political and economic storm along the way. Oil booms have come and gone, prices risen and collapsed, political and environmental crusades launched and allowed to fade.

The National Energy Program sought to seize the proceeds from provincial hands. The Green Shift attempted to turn profits into a social welfare program. The Kyoto accord tried to enforce restrictions that other countries ignored. More than $150 billion has been invested since 2000 alone.

Maybe nobody told the New York Times about any of this. Maybe they’re under the mistaken impression that the oil business is a novelty in Canada, and we haven’t gotten around to giving it our full attention. It would be strange if that were true, given that we have Google here and everything, and it would only take a few minutes to check it out in New York.

For the rest of this column, please go to the National Post website: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/03/12/kelly-mcparland-times-editorial-demonstrates-weakness-of-anti-keystone-argument/

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