Conflict Oil or Ethical Oil. Its amazing to see this campaign roll out. The people that previously had somewhat successfully changed Tar sands to Oil sands are now suggesting oil from Alberta is an ethical choice over oil from Saudi Arabia or Iran.
On the face of it they do have a point. They point to the treatment of women in these dark skinned countries and they also point to the what could happen to queers. It's a pretty good new paint job.
What is amazing is that this is happening in Alberta. You know, the province that was the last to end legal discriminating of gay people. The province that still has the strongest views against gays. The province where all but one MP would vote for Capital Punishment, vote to ban abortion and rescind gay rights, given half a chance. And our federal government has made a huge shift as well. Its not Alberta's oil anymore, its Canada's Oil.
The last Prime Minister to refer to Alberta's oil as Canada's oil was Pierre Trudeau. Since then federal ministers or prime ministers have been careful to dodge that hot pot. Its not really Canada's oil as you you know, resources are provincial jurisdiction, it is however useful to push the progressive Canada stuff in the media, given the opposition to the Tar sands oil.
So Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the guy who once proclaimed the need for a fire wall around Alberta to protect it from eastern Canada, is now claiming the oil as Canada's oil. The Canada Brand around the world use to mean clean and caring. Its taken a few hits since Harper came to power. We get awards for being the bad guys in the worlds efforts for a cleaner environment when we use to be seen as leaders.
The Canada brand is still strong in the USA. Its not the enviros the Government has to convince to buy 'ethical oil', its middle America. Americans are somewhat insecure these days. They want American made oil and if they can't drill in parks in the Alaska well then oil from Canada is the next best thing. Yet Americans have been inundated with messaging that the oil from the Tar sands is bad for the environment in a big way. Canada and Alberta Governments had to find a way to sell it. Its now ethical oil. Available only from Canada.
Now we need to ship that ethical oil to Huston Texas to be refined. That requires a new pipeline. The new pipeline was called Keystone for some reason. Perhaps they should have called it the Freedom pipe. Then the folks that were proposing this pipeline decided to hire a former American ambassador who is a Republican to lobby the Democratic White House.
The decisions so far weren't killers to the movement of ethical oil from Canada to the USA. They got great press coverage on lots of TV networks. Stephen Colbert played a clip in which the numbers of jobs grew depending on which Fox channel news you tuned in. It started as 20,000 jobs, then 25,000 then 115,000 indirect jobs finally to over a million jobs for Americans. The pipeline would be great for America.
No it fell down because the planners of the pipeline forgot about the calendar and they couldn't have picked a worse route making it even easier for the Obama Whitehouse to delay the decision until after the next election. Greeny folks made sure Obama knew that they knew an election was just around the corner.
The pipeline folks really blew the route. After the BP failure to cap a well and the Enbridge pipeline spill in the Chicago area last year, running a bigger pipeline through precious water reserves in Nebraska was just plain stupid. That gave the enviros a local issue with which to hit the project on the head. Remember, the enviros were opposed to the Tar Sands. Delaying the pipeline is a fundamental key to that goal.
So the guys that managed to get the media to call the tar sand the oil sands, that have convinced a fair number of people that there is such a thing as Ethical Oil, got a little silly in the end.
Now as the issue goes to bed till after the US elections in November 2012, the Prime Minister has hired the dude that was behind the Ethical Oil campaign. Watch out for the new Compassionate Conservative campaign to start soon.