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Last rites for Keystone XL?

A little-noticed political upheaval in Alberta may have sealed Keystone XL’s fate. The oil-friendly Progressive Conservative Party, which has ruled Canada’s oil-rich province for 44 years, was all but obliterated in yesterday’s snap election, retaining just 11 of the legislative assembly’s 87 seats, between 53 and 55 of which were won by the left-leaning New Democratic Party — it’s as if Socialists had won control of Congress in last year’s midterms!

NDP’s surprising comeback after decades out of power probably owes much to the personal popularity of its new leader, Rachel Notley, the daughter of a former NDP leader who will now become Alberta’s premier; but voters also were angry at the PCs for a variety of reasons.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 file photo, miles of pipe ready to become part of the Keystone Pipeline are stacked in a field near Ripley, Okla. The controversy over the pipeline in the hub of Oklahoma's oil activity, was voted the number nine story of the state for 2012. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE – In this Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 file photo, miles of pipe ready to become part of the Keystone Pipeline are stacked in a field near Ripley, Okla. The controversy over the pipeline in the hub of Oklahoma’s oil activity, was voted the number nine story of the state for 2012. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

As for Keystone XL, Bloomberg Business reports, “While not in the party’s official platform, Notley has said she will not advocate for the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines, oil export projects that have come under fire from environmental opponents of the oil sands and communities fearful of spills along their paths.”

With Canadian government’s support for the project gone, can Keystone XL survive in the face of U.S. opposition and a U.S. president unwilling to “friend” the project? It doesn’t like to me like those stacks of pipes are going anywhere.

 


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