Is Canada willing to pay a carbon tax?

Via Financial Post

In its final push for approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Canada appears to be telling the United States that it’s got the message about climate change.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as part of the National Interest Determination review of the Alberta-to-U.S.-Gulf project, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer, plays up Canada’s climate change record and promises more to come, including long-delayed action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its oil industry and openness to act jointly with the U.S. on new regulation.

As the KXL decision draws near — President Barack Obama has signaled it could come in the next two months — the letter re-enforces a theme the president introduced two weeks ago in Mexico: that the two countries are on a path of cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rather than division over a single project.

Coincidentally, three other major oil pipelines are making leaps forward this week, demonstrating the denial of Keystone XL, as advocated by the environmental movement, won’t cap growth of Canada’s oil sands or give the president much to brag about on the climate front.

TransCanada Corp., proponent of KXL, said Tuesday it has taken the first step toward a regulatory filing for its Energy East pipeline from Alberta to the Canadian East Coast; Earlier, Enbridge Inc. said it plans to double the capacity of its Line 3 from Alberta to Wisconsin, which the company says doesn’t require a presidential permit because it’s a maintenance project. On Thursday, the National Energy Board will hand down a ruling on whether its Line 9 can be reversed and expanded to carry Alberta oil through Ontario and Quebec.

In the Feb. 28 letter, Mr. Doer says energy and environment officials from both countries are assessing energy issues that could be addressed jointly.

They include discussions between U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Joe Oliver, Canada’s natural resources minister, for an energy partnership to strengthen energy security, improve environmental protection and generate economic benefits for both countries, a Canadian embassy official said in an e-mailed statement.