If former U.S. president Barack Obama is such a big fan of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — as he indicated Wednesday in a tweet to his 109 million followers — why didn’t he support Trudeau when it counted, by approving the Keystone XL pipeline?
Obama tweeted: “I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President. He’s a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change. The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbours to the north support him for another term.”
Trudeau, retweeted Obama, adding: “Thanks my friend, we’re working hard to keep our progress going.”
Let’s forget about the propriety of a former U.S. president trying to influence the outcome of a tight Canadian election at the eleventh hour.
Let’s ignore America’s first black president saying nothing about Trudeau’s blackface scandal.
The reality is Obama’s and Trudeau’s much-publicized “bromance” didn’t do us any good because Obama was Canada’s enemy on energy policy.
Obama’s seven years of dithering on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to transport Alberta bitumen to refineries on the US Gulf Coast, before vetoing it in 2015, damaged the Canadian economy because it contributed to our lack of pipeline capacity, which means our oil has to be sold at huge discounts.
Here’s what Obama said in a speech to US pipeline workers in Cushing, Oklahoma on March 22, 2012:
“Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years … Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states.
“We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high.
“We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.
“So we are drilling all over the place — right now … In fact, the problem in a place like Cushing is that we’re actually producing so much oil and gas in places like North Dakota and Colorado that we don’t have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it to where it needs to go — both to refineries, and then, eventually, all across the country and around the world.