Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he has warned American officials that his government is "serious" about selling Canadian oil to Asian markets, after a U.S. political fight put the Keystone XL pipeline project on hold.
Harper made the comments in an exclusive interview with CTV News Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme, which will air in its entirety on Boxing Day at 7 p.m.
When asked how serious Ottawa is about selling oil to China, and run the risk of compromising Canada's relationship with the United States, Harper replied: "I am very serious about selling our oil off this continent, selling our energy products off to China."
But the prime minster also said that on a recent trip to the U.S., he was told by a number of senior officials that the Keystone XL pipeline will be approved, thereby opening a new route for Canadian oil to be sent to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
"I ran into several senior Americans, who all said, ‘Don't worry, we'll get Keystone done. You can sell all of your oil to us.' I said, ‘Yeah we'd love to but the problem is now we're on a different track.'"
**Bold is mine
I'd mentioned on another thread that the Prime Minister and the government were seriously discussing the selling of Canadian oil to the Asian market. In part because of this pipeline issue and in larger part do to the constant and quite loud voices against "dirty oil" from Canada.
It was in the wind months ago this was coming. We knew of this decision weeks ago.
We Americans do get a great deal of our oil, roughly 40%, directly from Canada at greatly reduced prices. We don't pay world market prices. However, the Asian market would indeed pay those much higher world market prices to insure a steady and stable supply.
Now the response to my comment was a very self assured, "Canada would never do that, they have nowhere else to sell their stuff" followed by "America has the only refineries in North America" so "Canada has no choice but to sell to the States". [paraphrased]
It is certainly time for Americans to knock it off with the arrogance. We are insulting our friends and neighbors in self assured spite. All the while thinking we are all that. Well we aren't "all that".
Now I would like to disabuse some folks of the notion that Canada does not have refineries of their own. Canada does indeed have them. Several in fact. They simply do not have the capacity to refine it in the vast quantities or in the speed at which Americans can suck the stuff up. Our appetite is voracious and growing.
Be that as it may, once Canada takes its oil to China, India and other Asian countries, they will be paying world market pricing. Thus affording Canada the ability to easily revamp existing, and build new refineries. In the end, the notion of American refineries is truly a non-issue for the Canadian government.
Rest assured, when Canada stops selling us their "dirty" oil, prices at the American pumps will more than double. Why is that you may wonder? We will no longer be getting a substantial amount of the product at roughly 50% off world market prices.
Remember, we are currently getting roughly 40% of our needs filled by a nation whom we keep telling 'screw off'.