News broke today that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has written a letter to President Obama that, according to CBC reporting, “formally propos[ed] ‘joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector,” in exchange for approval of Keystone XL.
The specific details of the offer from Harper are yet to be revealed, but in actuality, those details are meaningless. Here are the facts:
As concluded numerous times, including in our recent report “Fail: How the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Flunks the Climate Test,” the Keystone XL pipeline is a lynchpin for tar sands development, and such development will significantly increase greenhouse emissions.
What’s more, as concluded by the IEA and others, Canada’s plans for expansion of the tar sands, which would be facilitated greatly by Keystone XL, are entirely incompatible with efforts to ensure a safer climate…by a factor of three.
The President would be more than unwise to fall for Prime Minister Harper’s last-ditch hail mary. No deal on Keystone XL can mitigate the impacts of tar sands expansion. Keystone XL is climate disaster; no snake oil deal from a Prime Minister bent on cooking the planet in order to help his oil industry friends will change that.
As I said today in a joint release from a number of US and Canadian organizations and First Nations, “Trusting Canada’s Harper government on climate would be a huge mistake. Prime Minister Harper has proven time and again his willingness to turn his back on international climate commitments in order to promote a tar sands industry incompatible with real climate action.”