Tuesday, February 7, 2012

So ride your bike to a green rally

Canada's prime minister and some of his cabinet -- including his minister of natural resources -- have traveled to China this week. There's no mistaking the message to the United States: your president said no to the Keystone pipeline that would bring Canadian oil into the United States. So we're going to talk to China about buying it.

Joe Nocera comments:
Environmental concerns notwithstanding, America will be using oil — and lots of it — for the foreseeable future. It is the fundamental means by which we transport ourselves, whether by air, car or truck. Where do we get that oil? Mostly from countries that don’t like us, like Venezuela, which has the world’s second-largest oil reserves.
And here is Canada, a staunch American ally that has historically sold us virtually all of its crude exports. Over the past two decades, energy companies have invested tens of billions of dollars in the tar sands, so much so that Canada now ranks No. 3 in estimated oil reserves. Along with the natural gas that can now be extracted thanks to hydraulic fracturing — which, of course, all right-thinking environmentalists also oppose — the oil from the Canadian tar sands ought to be viewed as a great gift that has been handed to North America. These two relatively new sources of fossil fuels offer America its first real chance in decades to become, if not energy self-sufficient, at least energy secure, no longer beholden to OPEC. Yet these gifts have been transformed, like everything else, into political footballs.
There's your stark choice, boys and girls.

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