Canada’s leaders have a message for President Obama, when it comes to the Keystone pipeline, its time to “tuchus affen tish.” For those of you who don’t speak the “mamaloshen” (Yiddish) that phrase means “get your ass off the table.” And they are totally justified, the United States has been avoiding a decision on Keystone since Sept. 2008.
Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver, its Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford, as well as Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird traveled to New York for a media tour this week. They are arguing in media interviews and at an energy conference that Obama has unfairly entangled the $5.4 billion pipeline with U.S. politics. Minister Oliver says Canada’s intention is is to keep the issue alive with the U.S. public and businesses.
“This is a democracy, and I’m sure the government listens to the people,” Oliver said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters.
The issue has become the biggest bilateral irritant between the world’s two largest trading partners, fueled tensions between Obama and Harper and threatens Canada’s ability to develop its oil resources.
The proposed pipeline, which would transport crude from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, is in its sixth year of review by Obama.
The latest delay came in April when Obama announced a decision would be delayed till sometime after the midterm elections.
“It’s not going to vanish as a business issue for those who are going to be directly impacted” in the U.S., Oliver said. “There’s a real sense this is a very unhappy delay.”
Canadian officials claim Obama is deliberately delaying approval of the project to assuage environmentalists, a claim I agree with.
“We feel entitled to say, ‘Wait a minute, this isn’t right, this isn’t fair,’” Oliver said in the interview.
Which is very close to “tuchus affen tish.”
In February the State Department released a report which said in part that the
construction of the pipeline would create 42,100 jobs, and that it would
not significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions. The pipeline is a economic stimulus this country desperately needs.