Just because we don't want to take full advantage of the plentiful energy resources available from our friendly neighbors to the north doesn't mean that energy won't be used.
China's Canadian Energy Play:
Mr. Obama's rejection of the $7 billion Keystone XL has no doubt concentrated Chinese and Canadian minds. The pipeline would have moved oil from Canada and North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf Coast, and Mr. Obama's bow to American greens was a direct snub to Canada, which provides nearly 30% of U.S. imports. Prime Minister Stephen Harper promptly said that Canada needs to diversify its energy markets, perhaps by building a pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast to export to Asia.
Energy-hungry China couldn't be happier. Chinese bids for North American companies haven't always been welcomed—see the rejection last year of a Chinese consortium's $38.6 billion hostile bid for Canada's Potash Corp. But Cnooc executives might figure that Canadian regulators will be more welcoming to this nonhostile bid in the wake of the Keystone fiasco. Canada needs capital to exploit the oil sands and the markets to buy what is produced. Cnooc can help with both.
The lesson for America, and especially Democrats, is that Canada's oil sands will be developed, whether their green financiers like it or not. If the U.S. doesn't want the oil, China and the rest of Asia will gladly take it. The world wants to grow—must grow to reduce poverty—and it needs abundant, cheap energy to do it. Why is that so hard for some Americans to understand?
Good thing we rejected Keystone and all the energy and jobs that would have come with it. Much better for us to let the Canadians contruct their own pipeline to the Pacific, create their own jobs, and then sell that oil to China, right?