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Carol Browner: Keystone XL Will Be Rejected By Obama Administration

Carol Browner: Keystone XL Will Be Rejected By Obama Administration. (source)

keystone xl
President Barack Obama will reject the contentious Keystone XL pipeline, a former White House climate and energy czar says.

Carol Browner said “there will be some twists and turns” in the political debate over the pipeline, but “at the end of the day [Obama] is going to say no,” according to The Hill.

Browner served as head of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration and headed the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy for two years under Obama.

She made the comments at a Washington, D.C., meeting of the Center for American Progress, where she was joined on a panel by Van Jones, an environmental advocate with links to Obama, and Tom Steyer, a billionaire who has been on an anti-Keystone XL crusade.

Her comments come as Washington finds itself in the crossfire of the Keystone debate.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last month that he would not “take no for an answer” on the pipeline.

Posters calling Canada “the dirty old man” of environmental issues have been popping up around Washington, part of artist Franke James’ campaign to stop oil sands shipments.

Meanwhile, the Harper government is running a $16.5-million ad campaign extolling the virtues of Canada’s natural resources.

But the ads failed to impress those south of the border, according to a new report, and even left people puzzled over assertions that Canada is America’s best friend.

A government-commissioned Harris-Decima pre-testing report on the ad blitz earlier this year found that focus groups in Washington were befuddled by the campaign’s original tagline — “America’s best friend is America’s best energy solution.”

“Few would immediately assume this means Canada, despite certainly considering Canada to be a good friend,” says the $58,000, taxpayer-funded report, posted Wednesday on Library and Archives Canada.

“Some indicated that claiming you are one’s best friend comes across as something one does when one is about to ask for a huge favour.”

Others took issue with the word “solution” because it suggested “America had a problem that needed solving.” In a similar vein, “virtually all objected to the reference to Canada’s ban on dirty coal as it seemed to imply that Canada is doing more than the U.S.,” the report noted.

The U.S. advertising offensive has included promotions and ads in influential publications and a website for American viewers, gowithcanada.ca. The ads shine a job-friendly and environmentally sensitive light on a cross-section of Canadian resource industries.

TransCanada, which is building the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to an oil terminal in Cushing, Okla., says it expects a decision on the pipeline by March of next year.


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