Last week, the New York Times boldly urged President Barack Obama to reject TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The influential paper’s March 10 editorial immediately drew the ire of the Canadian petrostate and its Conservative foot soldiers.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford responded over the weekend by purchasing the above $30 000 ad in the New York Times ad to promote Keystone XL. According to The Canadian Press, a spokesman for Redford said the ad was “taken out to counter” the NYT editorial.
Carol Linnitt, a research fellow with DeSmogBlog.com and commentator on energy development, environmental policy and related issues, rightly pointed out that the Conservatives’ Keystone XL pitch to the Americans is: Get your oil from Canada, or get it from the devil.
In typical 1984 propaganda style, the half-page ad was headlined: “Keystone XL: The Choice of Reason.” It claimed: “Less gas in the tank from unstable foreign regimes.”
More bizarrely, the ad tried to tie the project to core American values. And to Americans’ pride in their military.
“America’s desire to effectively balance strong environmental policy, clean technology development, energy security and plentiful job opportunities for the middle class and returning war veterans mirrors that of the people of Alberta, Canada,” read the ad.
“This is why choosing to approve Keystone XL and oil from a neighbour, ally, friend, and responsible energy developer is the choice of reason.”
The Alberta tar sands and Keystone XL remain symbols of Big Oil’s insidious plan to get rich quick by trashing the environment, First Nations rights and the future. That’s the message 50 000 Americans took to Washington D.C. on February 17 for the anti-Keystone XL and Forward on Climate Change Rally. The largest climate rally in U.S. history.
Now it’s up to President Obama to do the right thing. To follow through on his 2nd inauguration pledge: “… if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”