I don't suppose that I could prevail upon the Obama campaign to stop pissing off Canada?

This kind of arrogant, unilateral thinking does nothing for our foreign relations.

By Moe Lane Posted in | | | | Comments (11) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

(Via Instapundit) It is sometimes startling to see just how unthinkingly indifferent the Obama campaign is towards the sensibilities of our major trading partners:

Obama's fight against 'dirty oil' could hurt oil sands

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama on Tuesday vowed he would break America's addiction to "dirty, dwindling, and dangerously expensive" oil if he is elected U.S. president -- and one of his first targets might well be Canada's oil sands.

A senior adviser to Mr. Obama's campaign told reporters it's an "open question" whether oil produced from northern Alberta's oilsands fits with the Democratic candidate's plan to shift the U.S. sharply away from consumption of carbon-intensive fossil fuels.

Said campaign is touting this as being all about "greenhouse gasses," which I admit sounds better than "the ethanol industry expects a return on its investment in Barack Obama." Hey, complain to the New York Times: some of you folks are happy enough to believe them when they're telling you juicy anti-administration stories from anonymous sources, so there's no logical reason for you to change your mind about their accuracy now*...

But I digress.

Read on.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak briefly with RNC Deputy Chairman Frank Donatelli on the GOP's energy policy. He was pretty forthright about the fact that there isn't a magic bullet that will sink gas prices instantly. What the Republicans are aiming for is to make a psychological change; the goal is to remove the artificial pessimism currently imposed on energy markets. Hence a comprehensive approach that includes greener technologies - including nuclear power - exploitation of existing offshore oil supplies, drilling in ANWR, making it easier for Brazilian ethanol to reach our markets (note that Senator Obama opposes that; one hesitates to suggest that it's for crass, corporate/political considerations)... and Albertan oil sands.

Now, you can argue that the GOP strategy is misguided, or simply wrong: feel free, in the comments section of a post that's actually dedicated to energy policy. This isn't: this is a post about politics. Specifically, international affairs. You see, the Obama campaign likes to talk about how their candidate is obviously a better choice than McCain for repairing our foreign relations. Putting aside the question of whether our foreign relations are actually broken in the first place - and only because progressives whine so when we challenge them on this particular theological point of theirs - it's fascinating to watch how happy the Obama campaign is to offend our foreign allies and trading partners to score what they think are domestic points. We saw this in the various NAFTA flaps, which were not well-received in Canada or Mexico; we saw this in Obama's uncritical willingness to deal unilaterally with Iran, which is frankly alarming our European allies; we saw it on that absolutely insane pledge of his to seek a worldwide ban on nuclear fissile material, just to win points with American progressives; and now we're seeing it here.

You see, I don't know if anybody's mentioned it yet, but oil sands already represent 47% of Canada's oil production. In 2007 we imported roughly 19% of our foreign oil from Canada, which means that we're already getting a respectable fraction of our oil from oil sands already. It would not be difficult to foresee a scenario where a hypothetical Obama administration took the next logical step from decrying expansion of current oil sand production to trying to curtail existing production: after all, the current process produces unacceptable amounts of greenhouse gasses, right? Fortunately, we're not the sorts to invade Canada: unfortunately for Obama, we can't make them sell oil to us, either. If we won't buy their product, other countries will. And we thus end up with both less oil, and an annoyed neighbor. This hardly sounds like a optimal result... or even a properly-thought out strategy, if you're not the sort to concede that at least Senator Obama means well.

I've mentioned this to the Obama campaign: the central message of Foreign Relations 090 is First, do no harm. It's a simple principle. It's worked for thousands of years.

So why is that campaign so grimly determined to ignore it?

Moe Lane

*Yes, feel free to argue that because the money's not obvious, the influence isn't there. The curious combination of naive political virginity and ruthless enforcement of goodthinking is one of the most entertaining aspects of the standard online Obama supporter.

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I don't suppose that I could prevail upon the Obama campaign to stop pissing off Canada? 11 Comments (0 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

The Obama energy policy is not just to deny expanding our domestic production. It is actually aimed at REDUCING overall supplies?!?

Yeah, that is going to bring down the price at the pump. Good luck with that.

"If they were merely incompetent, then at least SOME of their actions would have been to the benefit of the country."

is do exactly what you just said - limit supply, and therefore reduce consumption. Prices will continue to rise and people will feel more economic pain. But he thinks he can get away with it by spinning the problems as being a result of "greedy oil companies."

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

against Canada.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

good relations with our disenchanted allies and renew our respectability around the globe after the unilateral cowboy from Crawford wrecked everything...

"Do not fear, only believe." (Mark 5:36)

and if they aren't a country, then how can they be an ally? ;)
-----------------------------------
In an insane society, reality is outside of the mainstream.

They (provincial government) are raising the royalties on the oil companies (MID CONTRACT) and the crazies out east in Ontario want to impose a tax on energy production that leaves exempt nuclear power (which powers Ontario) and hydro power (which powers Quebec) all in an attempt to redistribute the wealth that Alberta has accumulated. Well, they also want to make energy expensive so that the normal everday guy has to cut back from driving. Its pretty sinister.

As for the politics of it, I think we all remember Barrys guy Alan Goolsby (spelling?) telling us (Canada) that Barry didnt really mean it when he was dissing NAFTA.

Seriously, the fact that a guy like Barry Obama is even being considered for POTUS is a sad indictment on America. Barry wants to make America Canada, lots of regulation, socialized medicine, restrictions on energy production. Sad.

They (provincial government) are raising the royalties on the oil companies (MID CONTRACT) and the crazies out east in Ontario want to impose a tax on energy production that leaves exempt nuclear power (which powers Ontario) and hydro power (which powers Quebec) all in an attempt to redistribute the wealth that Alberta has accumulated. Well, they also want to make energy expensive so that the normal everday guy has to cut back from driving. Its pretty sinister.

As for the politics of it, I think we all remember Barrys guy Alan Goolsby (spelling?) telling us (Canada) that Barry didnt really mean it when he was dissing NAFTA.

Seriously, the fact that a guy like Barry Obama is even being considered for POTUS is a sad indictment on America. Barry wants to make America Canada, lots of regulation, socialized medicine, restrictions on energy production. Sad.

Congrats!

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

 
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