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Canadian oil can make world safer
Toronto Sun ^ | May 15, 2014 | MARK MILKE

Posted on 05/15/2014 8:00:22 PM PDT by rickmichaels

Given Canada’s proximity to the United States, we tend to take our peace and security for granted.

This comfortable distance from most of the world’s violence has led us to underestimate how useful Canada might be in defusing threats elsewhere using energy as leverage.

Canadians might have a general sense that oil in particular matters to world affairs; but given that Canada has never been a superpower, it has never been responsible for the wider world order to ensure that oil (or natural gas) flows to countries that need it.

Given recent developments at home and abroad, that blissful unawareness merits re-thinking.

The world received a wake-up call recently in the form of Russian expansionism into Ukraine.

In his 2010 book, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, historian Timothy Snyder recounted the full, tragic history of Ukraine and other countries being starved, trampled on, warred in, warred over and conquered between the two worlds wars by the Soviet Union and Germany.

That’s what can happen when a country is at the intersection of international currents and not, as Canada is, at the edge of a continent with a neighbour and ally with similar liberal democratic norms.

As Canadians think about energy, we rarely think about its geostrategic importance in relation to Canada.

More energy exports from us might, in the medium to long-term, help some countries escape from dependence on Russian energy supplies.

At present, European Union countries are dependent upon Russia for one-third of their imported natural gas supplies.

The dependency ranges from a high of 92% in Lithuania to 1% in Ireland. Some major European Union economies are highly dependent on Russian gas, such as France (17%) Italy (28%), Germany (30%) and the Netherlands (34%).

European governments not only accept this, they’ve rejected competitors (such as Canada) on spurious grounds.

Over the last several years, some politicians in the European Union have been actively trashing Canadian oil over the bogus claims of climate activists.

But as Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird recently observed, Russian adventurism in Ukraine means at least some Europeans might shift their views on Canadian oil, while on natural gas in particular, additional Canadian-based companies might export more to that region.

Dependence on liberal democracies is good and helpful for a stable world; dependence on corrupt autocracies is not.

Of the top 15 net oil exporters in the world, Canada is one of just two countries (Norway being the other) that is considered “free” according to Freedom House, a Washington-based think tank, which considers freedom of the economy, media, religion, voting and independent courts.

Three other significant exporting countries (Kuwait, Nigeria, and Venezuela) are considered partly free; while 10 of the 15 top oil exporters are “not free”—including Russia.

That is a status Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently wishes to export.

The big picture is this: Canada’s products—oil, natural gas, or anything we can manufacture and export, including traditional sectors such as forestry and mining—ought to be sold around the world with this rather long sticker attached: “Made In Canada: Safe, reliable, liberal democratic and free.”

It’s a selling point Canadian-based companies, and politicians should not overlook, along with how European energy dependence on Russia is unhealthy in general.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: canada; energy; keystonexl; kuwait; naturalgas; nigeria; norway; opec; russia; ukraine; venezuela

1 posted on 05/15/2014 8:00:23 PM PDT by rickmichaels
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To: Squawk 8888


2 posted on 05/15/2014 8:17:18 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: rickmichaels

You mean that rich Canadian radials will not cut off our heads?

3 posted on 05/15/2014 8:31:22 PM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: rickmichaels

A lot of things’ll make the world safer, but politicians have to justify their salaries.

4 posted on 05/15/2014 8:41:50 PM PDT by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be earned and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
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To: mountainlion

5 posted on 05/15/2014 8:47:05 PM PDT by rickmichaels
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To: rickmichaels

Start the formation of a league of democracies.Get rid of the U.N. Veto power only to rich-white-run countries.

6 posted on 05/15/2014 8:55:41 PM PDT by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: rickmichaels; Clive; exg; Alberta's Child; albertabound; AntiKev; backhoe; Byron_the_Aussie; ...
To all- please ping me to Canadian topics.

Canada Ping!

7 posted on 05/15/2014 9:38:25 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (I'd give up chocolate but I'm no quitter)
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To: rickmichaels

Any oil or gas that comes from a civilized country...that is,not Iran,Venezuela or the USSR (among others) good for the entire civilized world.

8 posted on 05/16/2014 12:33:25 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Rat Party Policy:Lie,Deny,Refuse To Comply)
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