Consider if you will the position of the US on selling Canadian oil to China. We already have Chinese ownership of one oil sands project and I can almost guarantee that China has plenty of money on the table if the Gateway project gets the green light.
What will Uncle Sam think? Though I doubt Uncle Sam has the nads to stand up to big oil these days I do think his relative the military-industrial complex does. Especially when you add all the hawks hiding in government agencies with three letter acronyms.
Here is one scenario for you. Companies, such as one causing a ruckus in London Ontario, wreak havoc on public perception of the Harper government. XL or else! We have many companies that are foreign owned which would be willing to make a stink if it meant breaking a union and suddenly getting great concessions across the border.
How this one plays out is ongoing delays from the US while we slowly come to the conclusion that BC wants to maintain a tanker moratorium -- and Harper can back down saying he doesn't want to step into the provincial domain in this regard any more than he does for health care.
Magically, after a reasonable period of time so it doesn't look too connected, the XL project gets under way with some added environmental protection to give the incumbent at the time something to crow about for the left while talking jobs and economy for the right.
Unfortunately, I can't see the development of the oil sands being stopped, no matter whether or not a pipeline is built.
I guess we can hope for the lessor of all evils? How many examples would it take to rile the citizens before our majority mad government would decide to care about the consequences.
The following article, from TheStar, about the Harper government trying to find ways past the regular approval process due to the length of time it will take raises some interesting questions:
- Would this imply the Harper government is playing hardball?
- Is energy a Moby Dick for Harper?
- Will bulling through the Gateway project spell the end for Harper?
- Is there enough hidden money on the line he'll sink the conservative party in the process?
Stay tuned, this looks to be an interesting if pricey proposition.