Canada’s Conservative government in the oil-rich province of Alberta fell in this past week’s election, and the new socialist, and environmentally conscious NDP have withdrawn their support for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Alberta’s Conservative Party has ruled the province for 44 years, and in that time, Alberta was one of the more prosperous provinces in Canada thanks to the large oil reserves the province has in its tar-sands.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Canada is the world’s fifth largest oil producing country.
Alberta was hit with hard times earlier this year when oil-prices fell and the falling prices appear to have brought down the longtime ruling Conservatives with them.
With the new NDP government, lead by Rachel Notley calling for major changes in Alberta’s economy, the provinces reliance on oil, and the importance of infrastructure such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, might soon change.
“We need to start down the road to a diversified and resilient economy. We need finally to end the boom-and-bust roller coaster that we have been riding on for too long,” Premier elect Rachel Notley said.
Notley also announced that her government would end tax-dollar spending on the lobbying of the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines, which were heavily pushed in Washington by her predecessor, Jim Prentice.
The U.S. State Department is currently reviewing the permit for Keystone XL, but President Obama has stated that he will not approve of the project due to the adverse affects it will have on the environment.
President Obama vetoed a bill in February that was pushed by Congress to approve the pipeline.
“[The bill] cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto,” said the President.
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in February was above 400 ppm (parts per million), it is the first time that CO2 has been this dense in the Earth’s atmosphere in 23 million years, long before the planet was able to support human life.[MotherJones][Globe and Mail][National Journal]