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Yesterday, Gary Doer, Canada's Ambassador to the United States,made headlines when he stated that:

"If you ask the question: Do you want your oil from (Venezuelan President) Hugo Chavez or (Alberta Premier) Alison Redford, I think I know the answer."

Doer is making the argument that US President Barack Obama should approve the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, so America can get its oil from the friendly North, instead of the much maligned Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela.

What Doer fails to mention, or maybe he just doesn't know, is that the largest import commodity Canada receives from Venezuela is crude oil.


According to a 2011 government report [PDF] on Venezuelan-Canadian trade relations:

"Imports from Venezuela are dominated by crude oil. In 2009, Canadian oil imports [from Venezuela] were valued at $778 million, making up nearly 86% of Canada's total imports from that country."

A May 2011 Natural Resources Canada report [PDF]notes that Canada imported 33,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Venezuela in 2009. That works out to about 12 million barrels of oil that year. 

While Venezuela has had issues in the past around their oil industry, Canada imports even more oil from countries with much more serious human rights and environmental issues. Canada's largest source of imported crude is Algeria, which has been mired in an armedconflict with Islamist extremists for more than 20 years. Canada also imports oil from Angola, Iraq and Nigeria - all countries that make Venezuela look like paradise. 

Ambassador Doer and the Harper government are working overtime at the moment to convince the U.S. government to green light the Keystone XL pipeline.

   

    This latest Hugo Chavez scare tactic is pretty ridiculous when one considers the fact that Canada is more than happy to receive millions of barrels a year from Hugo Chavez.

An Ambassador's role is typically apolitical, and that is for good reason. An Ambassdor's job is to represent the country, not the Prime Minister and his political party. Making undiplomatic statements to the U.S., our largest trading partner, is what happens when this division between ideology and diplomacy gets blurry, as it appears right now. 

A single pipeline is not worth ruining our relationship with the sleeping giant Canada sits above. It might wake up and realize it's being duped into helping Canada reach the highest bidder on export markets, which will be no help to the U.S. consumer as gas prices will go up for many, contrary to the fictitious story that Gary Doer and the Harper government is feeding the U.S. media. 


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Comment Preferences

  •  * face palm * (5+ / 0-)

    as you point out: a COMPLETE red herring that is the whole supposition that this canadian tar sands oil would be preferentially delivered to the us market.

    such horseshit. already debunked. but who cares, now that we're apparently now in the post-fact era.

    god, that's the whole POINT of the pipeline: get it onto barges for delivery to the global market.

    pisses me off how often people who know better still push bullshit into our faces and tell us: "mmm! delicious oatmeal cookies!"

    "i hear you're mad about brubeck ... i like your eyes. i like him too." -donald fagen

    by homo neurotic on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:44:18 PM PST

    •  Your comment: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093, VClib
      god, that's the whole POINT of the pipeline: get it onto barges for delivery to the global market.
      Where to begin.....

      First, barges for marine shipment of crude oil are not likely for shipments to countries outside of North America.

      Second, the 830,000 barrels per day of planned capacity for
      the Keystone XL Pipeline will mostly end up replacing heavy sour crude from Venezuela and the Saudis presently imported at terminals in Port Arthur, TX and other locations in the south central petroleum refining sector.   It is going to replace imported crude for TX, OK and LA refineries in the same manner that tar sands synthetic crude has replaced other crude sources at multiple refineries in the Midwest/Northeastern U.S.

      The idea that the Keystone XL Pipeline is somehow supposed to be dedicated solely to exports of crude from the United States just is plain wrong.   There isn't any evidence that export of synthetic crude will be the primary disposition.

      •  Distances (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        Louisiana Offshore Oil Platform to western EU, compared to Mideast to W. EU. LOOP is shorter, and the W. EU refineries dont do much cracking.

        Cat Crackers, better at volume gasoline and octane
        PADDIII over the last 9 years has built over a million barrels a day of cracker capacity,   a lot of it works the Chavez oil, could work the Alberta bitumen.

        Pipelines to connect KXL to LOOP
        Westward Ho and the Ho Ho reversal connect Port Arthur and the LOOP in New Orleans. About 900k bpd.

        The stated purpose of the KXL is to ship to the EU, the question is, syncrude or bitumen. I dont see Western EU refineries building a bunch of crackers in the next few years. I'll go off on a limb and guess syncrude

        ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:55:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would rather get the oil from, (6+ / 0-)

      (Venezuelan President) Hugo Chavez. At least he doesn't want to run a pipeline throughout the entire US to get it here. Or want to destroy Canada and British Columbia either.

      Jersey City NJ Sues In Federal Court To Stop spectra's natural gas [transportation] pipeline

      Mountaintop Removal, Strip And Longwall Mining, Gas Fracking, Are, An American Tragedy And Global Climate Crime!

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:46:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Supertankers, not barges, but your point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      is well taken.

      ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:43:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  really? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, 6412093, VClib, Emmy

    That's what you have. 33,000 bpd (not much).

    It is basically because Canada has oil in the west but consumes most of it in the east, meaning western oil is exported to the US and oil used in the east (think Montreal) is imported from either the US or overseas. It turns out it is more economical to import oil from overseas (via tanker) than to ship it 300 miles by pipeline from the west, so that is what happens.

    Keystone is an interesting issue and a rejection would definitely have an impact on US Canada relations. Interestingly the strongest pro US feelings are in the west (oil country), and the strongest anti american feelings are in the east. A Keystone rejection would definitely up the overall average anti US feelings across Canada, and may actually help bring Canada together (east with west).

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:49:31 PM PST

  •  Looks like Greg Palast was right ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, joe shikspack

    h/t to joe shikspack

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:58:05 PM PST

  •  Why exactly are we supposed to hate Venezuela? (4+ / 0-)

    Seriously, Chavez is like the weakest, most pitiful boogeyman ever.  If the choices were Canada or North Korea, ok, maybe, but Venezuela?  Really?  We do have Citgo stations here in the US.

  •  Hugo Chavez. Of course. Duh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack

    He's not helping North American and European corporations out by bombing African nations until they take redevelopment loans they can never repay and sign contracts exporting all of their natural resources for pennies on the dollar.

    income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

    by JesseCW on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:59:58 PM PST

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