Obama chose conflict Venezuelan oil over ethical Canuck oil, and movie stars over working men, women
By Ezra Levant ,QMI Agency
First posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012 08:00 PM EST | Updated: Friday, January 20, 2012 05:59 PM EST
U.S. President Barack Obama made a choice last week: He chose Venezuela over Canada.
That’s what he did when he rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would have taken oilsands oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast of Texas.
That pipeline would have delivered 700,000 barrels of oil every day from Canada (and from a new oilfield called Bakken that straddles the North Dakota-Saskatchewan border).
Which is almost precisely the amount of oil Venezuela now ships to the United States, to those same refineries in Texas.
With one fell swoop, Obama could have replaced conflict oil, from a belligerent, authoritarian OPEC regime, with ethical oil from Canada.
But he didn’t.
Hugo Chavez, the bully ruler of Venezuela, is a serial human rights violator.
He’s a Marxist, too, but that’s a different matter. According to impeccably liberal human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Chavez has shredded civil liberties in Venezuela — crushing independent labour unions, shutting down newspapers and radio stations that disagree with him, corrupting the political system and abusing Aboriginal people.
It won’t surprise you to learn that a ruler who treats his own people that way threatens other countries, too.
Chavez routinely menaces Colombia, a true democracy, even massing troops on the border and giving cover support to narco-terrorists seeking to undermine Colombia’s government.
And Chavez’s new ally is none other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — the two men share a hatred for Americans. And they have something else in common: If it weren’t for oil revenues, they’d both have been toppled by now.
Venezuela sells an enormous amount of oil to the U.S. About 800,000 barrels a day. At a hundred bucks a barrel, that’s $80 million a day.
That’s about $30 billion a year America pays to its greatest enemy in the western hemisphere.
It’s not just conflict oil, though. Venezuelan oil is some of the most carbon-intense oil in the world — even more so than Canada’s oilsands.
So by replacing Venezuelan imports with Keystone XL oilsands oil, not only would Obama have been doing the right thing geopolitically, it would have reduced America’s carbon footprint — which Obama claims to care about.
And it’s more than environmental.
Venezuelan oil tankers don’t give a lot of jobs to Americans. A few at the ports, but that’s about it. Whereas a new pipeline coming down from Canada provides a lot of “shovel-ready” jobs for Americans still reeling from the worst recession in that country since the 1930s.
Not only would the pipeline construction create jobs, but Keystone XL would have been the largest property taxpayer in many of the counties through which it flowed.
But Obama made another choice this week: Hollywood celebrities over working men and women.
See, those Hollywood celebrities — mainly airheads, such as Daryl Hannah, or pro-Chavez socialists, such as Sean Penn — will raise tens of millions of dollars for Obama’s re-election now that he nixed Canadian oil.
Whereas the thousands of American construction workers — well, they’re from states like Nebraska that weren’t going to vote Democrat anyways.
Obama’s decision is a disgrace, but it’s America’s business.
So now our business is to sell our oil to Asia.
Not just for our economic success, but to prove we are an independent country.
If Obama doesn’t want our oil, well, the rest of the world does.
Obama’s decisions are bad for America. They’re bad for U.S. jobs, U.S. energy security and U.S. foreign political entanglements.
But they’re bad for us, too. Canadians love America — we did before Obama came along, we do now, and we will after Obama is gone.
But let’s not sit by the phone waiting for Obama to love us in return.
Let’s open up markets in Asia and grow up as a country — a country with friends and trading partners around the world.
It’s about self-respect — and it will make America respect us more, too.