Monday, January 16, 2012
So This is Ethical Oil?
The American conservatives appear to be adopting, or at least sharing, tactics being used by the Canadian conservatives to get what they want. Intimidation and corruption.
The Republican controlled Congress is voting on a bill that would force President Obama to make a decision on TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline by November 1. An unprecedented tactic that would remove the authority of the president and the secretary of state. Future abuse could be devastating to both domestic and foreign policy.
Obama had to accept the deal in order to avoid raising taxes on workers, something the Republicans were determined to do, and Jim Flaherty has already done. (Flaherty does love taxing the little guy, doesn't he?)
Protests are growing in both the U.S. and Canada over the controversial pipeline, with the Americans not wanting the environmental mess when bitumen is sent there for processing, and Canadians not wanting the risk of devastating oil spills.
Another factor not getting as much media attention, is that while the U.S. oil lobby is citing all the new jobs in their country, many good jobs in the industry are being piped South.
Why? Lower wages? Since our government is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the oil industry, profit will always be job one.
Alberta Energy Minister Ron Liepert claims that Canada must find more markets for its crude oil if it hopes to become a global energy superpower. Why can't we become a global energy superpower with something other than oil? And how many Canadians dream of becoming a global energy superpower anyway? We just want the world to stop hating us.
Another element to this story is one of questionable lobbying practices and conflict of interest. Apparently at least three politician in the U.S. fighting for the pipeline, have shares in TransCanada; two Republicans and one Democrat.
Time to reduce the powers of the oil industry and put it back into the hands of citizens.