Alberta tar sands oil and North Dakota light shale oil flows into the same markets, have access to the same refineries, and rely on the same pipelines and railroads to get them to the same customers. So it was never terribly plausible that Keystone would be good for the U.S. -- it was designed to make Canadian oil more competitive in global markets.
The prime ministers of Canada and Australia jointly blasted carbon taxes as environmentally ineffective job killers. As outspoken defenders of a carbon economy, the pair, it they cared to look, would find themselves as part of a club with an ever-dwindling membership. Neither, it is worth noting, appears concerned.
Obama has declared a war on coal that's taking direct aim at his country's largest polluters. In Canada, meanwhile, Prime Minister Harper is using his mandate to muzzle weather forecasters from even mentioning climate change. The two major trading partners have their differences, but seldom have they been so out of sync.
It's a few weeks into a new year and so far Canadians are discomfited by watching our dollar rank among the world's worst-performing currencies. The oft-cited reasons include high consumer debt levels, the potential for a housing bubble, and worries that Canada's economy is on a divergent path from the US. Really, though, it's about oil.