How the U.S. election outcome could affect Canada’s environment and energy future


Biden, Trump have deep differences — and each could significantly impact Canada


If Biden wins

Biden drew attention in Canada for promising to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, then doubling down on it. 

For starters, he said he’d re-join the Paris climate accord on Day 1 of his presidency. Then he would convene, shame and potentially punish other countries that slack on their carbon emissions commitments.

Within 100 days, Biden said he’d hold a global climate summit to push countries to join the U.S. in toughening their climate objectives. He said he would also demand a worldwide ban on government subsidies for fossil fuels. Biden also intends to grade countries on their performance. He promises a global climate change report, similar to the State Department’s annual report on human rights and human trafficking. It would rank countries’ performance in meeting their Paris commitments.

It’s not clear how many countries Biden would target. “We can no longer separate trade policy from our climate objectives,” says Biden’s platform.

If Trump wins

Trump ditched a number of Obama’s climate rules, and left the Paris Accord. (His pullout from the Paris agreement officially goes into effect the day after this year’s election.)

As far as Canada is concerned, that means a continued commitment to the still-unbuilt Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry nearly one-fifth of the oil Canada exports to the U.S. each day.

Johnston said that pipeline isn’t, on its own, a make-or-break issue for the Canadian oilpatch, but it would help. He said the oilsands likely need two pipelines completed over the next few years out of the three major projects underway — Trans Mountain to the Pacific Coast, the Line 3 expansion to the Great Lakes and Keystone XL to the Gulf of Mexico — to avoid the type of transportation bottlenecks that have previously devastated Canadian oil prices.

It’s an uncertain moment for oil — and the financial stakes for Canada are considerable. It’s Canada’s top export to the U.S., in dollar figures; Canadian oil accounts for about half of U.S. oil imports, following years of growth.

California, the largest U.S. vehicle market, recently announced it planned to ban sales of gasoline-powered cars by 2035. Some of these changes in energy markets will proceed regardless of who’s president.

Barring a sudden change in the market, Canadian oil production will grow a bit for two to five years, then plateau at similar levels for decades.

Reference: CBC News

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/us-issues-canada-environment-1.5746288

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