Keystone-Are Canada and the United States Approaching a Deal?

Keystone XL may lead to Canada and the United States pursuing a coordinated approach to reducing green house gas emissions.  And guess what?  The Regulatory Cooperation Council may be just the template Canada and the United States use to works towards a greener and economically vibrant future.  

There’s no deal on Keystone XL yet, but recent reports suggest Canada and the United States may be working on a deal that gets Keystone U.S. approval in return for both nations working together to lower their green house gas emissions.

But there’s a somewhat glaring omission from these reports:  Canada and the United States are already working together on critical environmental initiatives through the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).  For more on the RCC, check out this May 2013 RCC fact sheet.

Should Keystone trigger greater cooperation on environmental issues between Canada and the United States, the RCC may be the vehicle both nations use to achieve their environmental goals.  At the very least, the RCC provides Canadian and U.S. policy makers a valuable road map for successful bilateral cooperation.

CBC reported Friday that Prime Minster Harper sent President Obama a letter “formally proposing ‘joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector,’ if that is what’s needed to gain approval of the Keystone XL pipeline through America’s heartland, CBC News has learned.” 

And yesterday, The Hill reported that Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver signaling Canada’s willingness to work with the United States to lower North American green house gas levels:

A top Canadian official visiting Washington, D.C. to lobby for the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline said Monday that Canada wants to work with the U.S. to curb carbon emissions from oil development.

Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, spoke to reporters after meeting with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on various energy topics, including the Keystone XL pipeline that’s under State Department review.

“I will not comment on communications between the two leaders, but I can tell you that the government of Canada wants to work with the U.S. administration on a wide range of environmental and energy issues, including collaborative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the development of North American conventional and nonconventional oil and gas reserves,” Oliver told reporters at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C.



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