Saudi Arabia. Nigeria. Venezuela. Canada? Is our neighbor to the north becoming a jingoistic petro-state?
We think that Stephen Harper is only our problem, but like it or not, the rest of the world is paying attention and what they see us turning into is not something they admire.
It’s well known that America’s dependence on foreign oil forces us to partner with some pretty unsavory regimes. Take, for instance, the country that provides by far the largest share of our petroleum imports. Its regime, in thrall to big oil interests, has grown increasingly bellicose, labeling environmental activists “radicals” and “terrorists” and is considering a crackdown on nonprofits that oppose its policies. It blames political dissent on the influence of “foreigners,” while steamrolling domestic opposition to oil projects bankrolled entirely by overseas investors. Meanwhile, its skyrocketing oil exports have sent the value of its currency soaring, enriching energy industry barons but crippling other sectors of its economy. Yes, Canada is becoming a jingoistic petro-state.And Will Oremus, the author of the Slate piece is right. It's pretty hypocritical that Harper is blaming "foreignors" for the opposition to the pipelines, when the damn pipelines and most of the Tar Sands are now owned by "foreignors".
The U.S., French, British, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Norwegian interests have all bought stakes in oil-sands projects. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), international companies have invested nearly $20 billion in the last three years through mergers, partnerships and outright purchases of projects.While we were sleeping, the Harper government was selling us off. The Northern Gateway pipeline is being built for China, Norway, Thailand and Korea. The XL pipeline is being built for the Koch Brothers.
Again ... Ethical Oil?
The Ethical Oil Institute, is a phony grassroots organization, created by Ezra Levant and run by Stephen Harper’s current Director of Planning, Alykhan Velshi. Velshi, as we know has close ties to Dick Cheney and George Bush.
Director of the Ethical Oil Institute is Kathryn Marshall, a blogger and sometimes columnist. Marshall appeared on Power and Politics recently, where Evan Solomon repeatedly asked her if she was employed by Enbridge, but she refused to answer.
Kathyrn Marshall is married to Hamish Marshall, Harper's former strategic planning manager. Terry Glavin writes for the Ottawa Citizen: The real foreign interests in the oilsands:
While it's all good fun to play Spot the Freemason, something very serious is going on here. Last summer, John Bruk, the Asia Pacific Foundation's founding president, warned that Ottawa was ignoring the rapid emergence of Chinese government interests "in sheep's clothing" taking over Canada's natural resource industries. Bruk told B.C. Business magazine: "Are we jeopardizing prosperity for our children and grandchildren while putting at risk our economic independence? In my view, this is exactly what is happening." As things have turned out, Bruk was more right than he knew.When your currency is quickly becoming backed by a single commodity (not gold), the risks are enormous. And when China and other foreign interests, have a large stake in that commodity, the risks become even greater. Do they care if Canada's economy fails? There is no vested interest, other than in profit.
Canadians’ increasing reliance on crude natural resources has economists on the lookout for symptoms of “Dutch Disease”—a phenomenon in which a natural resources boom strengthens a country’s currency, making its other exports more expensive and less competitive on the world market.Oremus closes by saying:
President Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL is only as secure as his re-election. GOP front-runner Mitt Romney has called the decision “shocking,” and Newt Gingrich called it “stunningly stupid.” By 2013, the two North American countries could be on the same team again when it comes to oil. If so, it’ll be us against the world.Newt Gingrich is now the front-runner, so it would be Newt and Harper against the world. Imagine that. Dumb and Dumber II.