Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Canada's US lobbying on Keystone XL 'unusual': National Journal

A concerted effort by Canada's federal government to sway U.S. public opinion in favour of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline is "unusual" in its assertiveness, according to a recent story in National Journal.

"The fact that any foreign government -- and especially mild-mannered Canada -- is lobbying so publicly and assertively on one project is unusual," reported the Washington, D.C.-based publication.

Since May the Canadian government has dispatched high-ranking officials to Washington. It's also run pro-oil sands advertisements in Washington Metro stations, at the Ronald Reagan Airport and in major print publications.

That campaign is expected to intensify this September.

In an interview with the National Journal, Canada's U.S. ambassador Gary Doer downplayed the campaign, explaining "We're not going to go around Washington to say, 'Look at what we've done on x, y, and z… We're not a holier-than-thou country."

Yet as the publication's Amy Harder noted, Canada "is doing exactly what Doer, in a persuasive and smooth manner, says it's not doing."

In fact Canada has been leading an aggressive oil sands outreach campaign in America's capital since at least 2008, one coordinated with the planet's largest oil companies and tracked closely by The Tyee.

It may not be enough, suggest some observers, to convince President Barack Obama to approve Keystone XL this fall, when he's expected to make a final decision on the project.

The President, after all, notably said last month that the pipeline’s contribution to climate change "will be absolutely critical to deciding whether this project goes forward."

Alberta Oil magazine recently reported that Canada's high-profile plan to bury carbon emissions underground -- referred to as "carbon capture and storage" -- is "losing momentum".

"Without the rapid deployment of CCS to store growing carbon emissions from the oil sands," it reported, "will the resource be shut out from the markets it seeks?"

Geoff Dembicki reports on energy and climate change for The Tyee.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus