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Sunday, July 29, 2012

After Rejecting Keystone, Now Democrats Want To Block Canada Deal With China

By Susan Duclos

Having written about this issue quite often, here is a quick recap on the Keystone Pipeline to bring us to today's news.

Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline, which is a proposed 1,700 mile oil pipeline which would carry oil from western Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. Then Obama lobbied Senate Democrats to block a bill that would bypass the Obama administration, which they did, despite the fact that it had bipartisan support and Democratic support.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated he was  meeting with officials in the Asian market to sell them their "abundance of oil, natural gas and minerals,"  then did so.

Harper expressed profound disappointment after Keystone was rejected, three years after it submitted it's application for approval, saying "I think what's happened around the Keystone is a wake-up call, the degree to which we are dependent or possibly held hostage to decisions in the United States, and especially decisions that may be made for very bad political reasons," he told Canadian TV."

Caught up? Good.

Now,  Senate Democrat, Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, are back pedaling and are attempting to block Canada from completing a deal for it's oil with China.

Now, with China's state-run oil company CNOOC poised to cut a $15.1 billion deal--the largest ever foreign acquisition for a Chinese company--with Canadian oil company Nexen, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are in full backpedal mode.

In a draft letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Sen. Schumer writes:

I respectfully urge you, in your capacity as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), to withhold approval of this transaction to ensure U.S. companies reciprocal treatment.

Similarly, Rep. Pelosi is now sounding alarms of concern.  In a statement, Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hamill said:

This deal prompts great concern about the Chinese government's continued attempts to use its state-owned enterprises to acquire global energy resources.

Saying "I told you so" offers little solace to concerned Republican lawmakers.

"Do we really want to be buying our oil or Canadian oil back from the Chinese?" said Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND). "If we don't take action to develop our resources and work with our closest friend and ally Canada, that's exactly what's going to happen."

For the record, if you look at the roll call for Senators that voted against the bill that would have allowed a decision on Keystone that would bypass Obama's political agenda, Schumer voted against the bill, and helped to block it.

Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird is taking Schumer, Obama and Pelosi down a peg as well, as he makes it very clear to reporters in Ottawa, "Decisions about the Canadian economy, about our relationship - our economic relationship with China - will be made in Ottawa and not in Washington or New York."

(Headline corrected)