- by Adam J Humphreys

The Keystone XL is Canada's biggest economic setback in the way of the inability to transport oil resulting in a suggested loss of 19 billion annually to the oil & gas sector as an innovative energy resource. When the cost of oil transport exceeds the ability to be profitable the amount the Keystone XL brings to the market is exponential as thousands are laid off this year. So you might ask why hasn't the Keystone XL been long since built? The reality is that most would of expected this to be a no brainer for the US being Canada's largest trade partner. However, the Obama administration has another agenda. While Barrack Obama can pretend the oilsands drives up the GHG (Green House Emissions) it's no less detrimental than any California drilling operation and especially lower than your typical coal fired plant. In fact, if we wanted to play the environment card what Obama has done has actually increased emissions by forcing the oil to move by rail and jeoperdising the environment as rail cars move through extremely sensitive areas. Sometimes the environmentalists are actually eco-terrorists and this is the case now with the Obama administration.

So what is Barack Obama really doing here since oil actually moves by rail instead? Lets face it, the intent of the Obama administration has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with protectionist monopoly to hold Canada back from an otherwise parity dollar. Oil moving by the Keystone XL reduces the transport cost from $21 per barrel down to $7 leaving tons of room for the oil to be profitable. This is nothing less than lobbyists holding the Obama administration in their back pocket. To suggest that Alberta oil doesn't do anything for the US is nothing less than stupid with a majority of Canadian imports coming directly from the US directly driving the American economy. When Canada wins so does America. Anyone with a basic understanding in economics knows this especialy economist and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with an agenda to balance the budget in 2016.

So you might ask yourself what the Alberta energy minister has done about this and I confronted him directly. I asked why we aren't refining local costly or not? He said that  the Alberta government simply isn't in the business of oil and that refineries are too expensive. If this were true then why is it that Alberta operates in great part through BRIK (Bitumen Royalties-In-Kind) program and are edging towards an expected 9 billion dollar deficit from an otherwise largely tax free province that is 29% of GDP in energy? If refineries are too expensive then how cheap is it to have the Canadian economy dive dramatically when we can't bring our oil to market? How many billions could Canada have brought in as a result? Just take away $14 from the cost of transport on every barrel to the US and you have your answer from a portion of Alberta's 1.9MM barrels of oil produced per day. How much would it have cost us to provide a general loan to the industry to have it refined in Canada rather than being at the mercy of a few?  These are the questions the Alberta government is now having to face coming into election time. It was estimated in 2012 to cost Canada $19 billion annually and the cost of a refinery is $10 billion so how is it not effective math here higher salaries in Alberta or not? The amount of losses it brings to North America is simply too high.

It's time Canadian oil reached the East coast so Canada can be self sufficient, that the Obama administration stopped pretending this an environmental issue, and for the Alberta government to recognize there needs to to be more of a long term vision outside of election time. Yes, we have to balance the budget, but by continually putting all the eggs in one basket the Canadian economy is at the mercy of a monopoly.  Since the 1970's Canada has dropped from 40 refineries down to 19. In a growing energy dependent economy with one of the largest oil reserves in the world this a problem that could of been avoided and that simply isn't ok. We need a government in that knows that when Canada wins America wins. Lets do this together.