My Crystal Ball Says the Keystone XL Pipeline Will Be Approved in 2013

| Mon Feb. 20, 2012 11:53 AM EST

The LA Times reports that Canadians are getting uncharacteristically pissed off at us American types:

The prime minister is talking about being "held hostage" by U.S. interests. Radio ads blare, "Stand up to this foreign bully." A Twitter account tells of a "secret plan to target Canada: exposed!"....Canada's recent push for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta to the nation's West Coast, where it would be sent to China, has been marked by uncharacteristic defiance.

....In January, President Obama abruptly vetoed a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, Canada's $7-billion project to deliver oil across the U.S. Midwest to the Texas Gulf Coast, which environmentalists have long opposed.

Mix in a touch of nationalism, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's view that Canada needs to hedge its oil bets by diversifying its export markets, and the fight was on — not only with the neighbor to the south, but also among Canadians.

My advice to the Times: this is hardly the first trade dispute between Canada and the U.S. that's spurred some heated rhetoric. That might have been worth a mention.

My advice to Canadians: settle down. It's an election year down here. In 2013, either Barack Obama will be starting his second term and he'll reverse course and approve Keystone XL because he doesn't have to care about the environmentalists anymore, or else some Republican will be president and he'll approve Keystone XL because he never cared about the environmentalists in the first place. Either way, Keystone XL will be approved after a few minor routing changes that allows everyone to save face.

Do I sound cynical about this? Well, I am.

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