"If President Obama blocks the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all, he’ll do Canada a favor," writes Thomas Homer-Dixon, an international affairs instructor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario.
This is the opening salvo in an opinion piece in today's New York Times that points out the problems inherent in more oil-pipeline production and highlights the portion of Canada's citizens who do not support the pipeline.
"Canadians don’t universally support construction of the pipeline," he writes, citing a February 2012 poll by Nanos Research in which 42 percent of Canadians indicated they do not want Keystone XL and other pipelines under review to be built. "Many of us, in fact, want to see the tar sands industry wound down and eventually stopped, even though it pumps tens of billions of dollars annually into our economy."
Homer-Dixon goes on to describe why that is so, calling bitumen "junk energy" because of its yield versus what it takes to extract the viscous compound; the wanton destruction of boreal forest that extraction entails, and the fact that "the process generates significantly more carbon dioxide than conventional oil production."
He is not the only one to discuss Canadian opposition to further oil sands development and the Keystone XL pipeline through the United States. Canada's Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, traveled to Washington D.C. to voice Canadians' opposition as well.
President Barack Obama is mulling over the decision as the U.S. State Department evaluates comments from the public over its draft environmental report. The public comment period ends on April 15.
Read "The Tar Sands Disaster."