This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 United States of America Dear Mr. President: I know you are deeply immersed in an issue vital to America’s national interest and, indeed, that of the world. Of course, I refer to the Keystone XL pipeline. I trust you will continue to consider approval of this pipeline, designed to shuttle our tar sands oil through America’s heartland to foreign markets, with the utmost consideration and care. Actually, who am I kidding? Let’s be real. Straight talk. I am writing you this letter to ask you for a few favors — because what’s the point of being strong allies if we can’t call in a favor or two, amirite? What I need you to do is ignore the science, the market, our record, and the risks America would bear in return for absolutely no reward — well, no reward for U.S. interests (Canada is going to take this thing to the bank!). Just act like we “deniers” do about climate change: take in the insurmountable evidence, then just look the other way. Also, help a fellow pol out with selling this thing? The blah-blah-blah about new jobs isn’t quite cutting it anymore (it’s hard to make just 35 permanent jobs sound impressive), and now we’re getting questions about how most of this oil will go to places like China and Venezuela, about the corrosive effect of this heavy tar sands crud on pipelines that already spill a couple hundred times a year, how it sinks in water so cleanup is nearly impossible, and how it offers no reward to the United States. I keep responding with “You know … jobs” — but that is starting to sound a bit dodgy. Speaking of not helping the cause, why did you have to go and repeat that there are only a few dozen permanent jobs associated with this pipeline, AND say “it’s not a jobs plan,” AND talk about not approving it unless there are no “significant impacts to carbon pollution.” How in the name of Wayne Gretzky are we supposed to pull that off?
Look, I know how important it is to talk the talk on climate change, and if that’s the game here, I’m down. But I’m starting to think you are serious, and setting me up for failure. Before I ran for head of government, I said things like “the so-called greenhouse gas phenomenon” and referred to addressing climate change as the “biggest black-hole boondoggle in Canadian history.” And yes, I actually argued that “carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.” But that was before I had to convince Canada (and now the U.S., thank you very much) that we wanted to be responsible about climate change! I mean, there is no way your State Department or EPA was going to ever believe I could actually offset 24 million metric tons of carbon pollution from the Keystone XL pipeline if I kept prattling on like Michelle Bachman at a Lyndon LaRouche revival. And I certainly wouldn’t be P.M. today. So Mr. President, if we’re going to do this thing, here’s what I need: • Overlook the past record of climate denial from me, and my Minister of Natural Resources. (If you think MY past quotes are out there, you should really check out Joe Oliver’s greatest hits! He makes Jim Inhofe look like Bernie Sanders!) Ignore that we are about to completely obliterate our carbon reduction goal. I know we agreed in Copenhagen to reduce emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, but I didn’t think you would do that! Think of it as a gift to the U.S. — if Canada misses its climate goal, you walk away looking like the North American climate hero. You’re welcome. Stop saying “significant carbon impact” as the test for KXL — or maybe fix your talking points on your own accomplishments. So your heavy truck rule was a really big deal. 27 million metric tons or carbon pollution saved with those fueleconomy standards. Huge! But this pipeline alone would increase carbon pollution by 24 million metric tons … every year. And that’s just calculating how much worse this stuff is to extract than conventional oil … between you and me the whole thing actually creates 182 million metric tons of carbon pollution a year. Yowzers. See my dilemma? So let me offer a tweak: just say, “you guys, I don’t really don’t care about carbon pollution” … or maybe just downplay that trucks rule and the other accomplishments as no big dealie-o. I know it’s not your style, but I’m pret-ty good at doing personal 180s and rewriting history, so I’m happy to help. Pretend tar sands expansion is a sure thing, and won’t destroy the planet. Just ignore that we’ve been calling KXL the key to unlocking tar sands (we didn’t mean it, wink!) and pretend like it’s inevitable and that KXL won’t accelerate the production of the dirtiest fuel on the planet, stuff that is more than three times as energy intensive to produce as regular Texas Tea. And if it means more beachfront property and a longer summer, well then sign me up! (IMPORTANT!) Act like Canada can totally offset any carbon pollution. “Scientists” and “experts” (they are so annoying!) say we need 40 carbon capturing sites to offset carbon pollution from the Keystone Pipeline. Sure, we have no plans to
build any more of those, but we have ONE — so we’re well on our way to meeting that goal, Mr. President! (Please ignore facts and logic when thinking about this point.)
The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada /bs
P.S.: Cheddar is very much looking forward to a play date with your new pooch Sunny — perhaps next visit?