According to Andrew Nikiforuk, the Keystone XL pipeline may have only sustained a flesh wound but it was a killer blow to the Northern Gateway pipeline.
The best analysis of all things related to the Athabasca Tar Sands is plainly that of Andrew Nikiforuk. Formerly an author and freelancer, Nikiforuk now writes for The Tyee (www.thetyee.ca). In the latest Tyee Nikiforuk canvasses the setback sustained by Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal.
Keystone, Nikiforuk writes, may not be dead but it has ensured the Northern Gateway is going nowhere.
"In the end, water concerns legitimately and fairly killed the irresponsible route over the Ogallala aquifer just as water concerns have already killed the Gateway project.
"...TransCanada says it will apply again in 2013 with a different pipeline route. For oil-sand developers, Keystone XL still remains Plan A to get bitumen to foreign markets. It's not as cheap as moving bitumen to the Canada's West Coast but it comes with fewer risks.
"Most senior executives in the oil patch quietly admit that Enbridge Gateway project (Plan B) will never be built. The local opposition against this desperate pro-China folly is much stronger and just as committed as that against Keystone XL.
"In fact, the path closed long ago due to ineptness and hubris as well as a ruthless disregard for the power of salmon, whales and First Nations.
"It's deader than Keystone."
I so hope Nikiforuk has this one right. His article is well worth a read. One by one it debunks a lot of myths about these pipelines and exposes how reckless Harper is about properly managing Canadian resources for the benefit of Canadians.
I'm not as confident as Nikiforuk that Big Oil or Harper will give up on Northern Gateway that easily. Harper is a bully and his instincts will compel him to try to run roughshod over legitimate opposition to push this through, consequences be damned.