Canadian Ambassador Might Want to Stock Up On Beer

Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. had better hope that his audience likes cheap Budweiser better than microbrews. Otherwise the Canadian government could be in for a budget crunch, because a million Americans are eager to take Gary Doer up on an ill-advised gamble over the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. After all, who doesn’t like a nice cold beverage free of charge from our neighbors to the north?

The Sun has the scoop from Ambassador Doer’s appearance yesterday at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore:

He touted the tens of thousands of jobs [Keystone XL] could create, increased energy security for the US and polling that consistently shows Americans support the $7-billion project.

“I believe all those reasons will allow us to get a common-sense decision,” he said. “I will bet a six-pack that it is going to happen.”

Photo: DJ Speiss
Here’s some quick math that might make Ambassador Doer cringe: Back in February we got over 800,000 people to sign a petition to the Senate, telling them to say NO to Keystone (and it only took 24 hours). So let’s see…800,000 x $5.99 (the cost of a 6-pack of Bud) = $4,792,000 American dollars (or $4,669,791 in Canadian “loonies”). That’s the amount Canada would have to spend if Doer lost his bet. I would imagine that we could get a few hundred thousand more signers if they knew free beer was being offered, so tack on a couple million bucks to the tab to be safe.

Doer’s cheerleading may be a lot of hot air, but it’s no surprise—Canada, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has regressed to become one of the worst environmental governments outside the Third World. The tar sands industry in particular enjoys close relationships with the Harper Administration, which has gladly put the oil boom ahead of public health and sustainable environmental practices.

[**UPDATE: My boss points out that if someone else is paying, he would get “some good eco, organic brew to wave it in his face. . . probably $9.99 a six pack at least.” That bumps the bill to $7,992,000 US]

What Do You Think of the Odds?

It’s not the first time the ambassador made waves on this side of the border: around this time last year, he appeared to criticize the U.S. State Department for considering environmental concerns during their assessment of Keystone XL, saying they shouldn’t listen to “noise” like the thousands of Americans who circled the White House to protest the pipeline. Strange he would say that because in his own country the biggest issue of the year is—you guessed it—the “Northern Gateway” pipeline, Canada’s equivalent to Keystone, which has been plagued by delay after delay and an outpouring of public opposition.

Keystone XL may have become a political football but polls show that Americans want action to solve the climate crisis, and we know that tar sands pipelines would be a huge setback for our clean energy future. As for the Ambassador’s claims about jobs and energy security, well, click here if you want the rundown but let’s just say he might want to take a break from the pub because he’s totally, utterly mixed up on the facts.

OK…all beer jokes aside, Keystone XL is still a ticking time bomb. The State Department is about to begin its final analysis of the pipeline, and we still don’t know whether the big kahuna, climate change, will be considered in the determination. We still need your help to make sure that our planet’s climate and wildlife are protected from this incredibly destructive project, so speak up now and make sure we prove Ambassador Doer wrong.

Take ActionTake action for people and wildlife! Tell the White House to say NO to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

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Published: September 19, 2012