Obama Sends Canadian Oil To China
Even if President Barack Obama approved the controversial Keystone XL pipeline tomorrow, at least some Canadian oil would still flow to Asia, according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
In a public one-on-one interview here with Jane Harman, head of the Wilson Centre think-tank, Harper said Obama's rejection of the controversial pipeline -- even temporarily -- stressed Canada's need to find other buyers for oilsands crude.
And that wouldn't change even if the president's mind did.
"Look, the very fact that a 'no' could even be said underscores to our country that we must diversify our energy export markets," Harper told Harman in front of a live audience of businesspeople, scholars, diplomats, and journalists.
"We cannot be, as a country, in a situation where our one and, in many cases, only energy partner could say no to our energy products. We just cannot be in that position."
His wide-ranging question-and-answer at the influential non-partisan think-tank -- which also touched on border security, trade, the Arctic and Syria among other topics -- followed a meeting with Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the White House for the sixth North American Leaders' Summit.
Harper also told Harman that Canada has been selling its oil to the United States at a discounted price.
So not only will America be able to buy less Canadian oil even if Keystone is eventually approved, the U.S. will also have to pay more for it because the market for oilsands crude will be more competitive.