Obama Embraces Cuba, Snubs Canada

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama held a press conference at the White House today during which he discussed the Keystone XL pipeline. Though he refused to take a stand on the proposed project, the president expressed concerns that Keystone would primarily benefit Canadian interests, not the American people. The president’s dismissive attitude toward cooperating with Canada on Keystone stands in stark contrast to his conciliatory approach with other world leaders.

AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement:

“President Obama’s continued opposition to Keystone XL is nonsensical and hypocritical. The merits of the pipeline have been shown time and time again. It will create thousands of jobs, lower gasoline prices for American families, and strengthen our partnership with Canada. This president seems perfectly comfortable signing backroom climate deals with China, yet he continues to thumb his nose at one of our strongest allies over a routine infrastructure project.”

Below are quotes pulled from speeches in which President Obama discusses strengthening economic ties with dictators in Cuba, China, and Russia, and helping Brazil develop their oil resources—even as he refuses to cooperate with Canada, America’s closest ally, on Keystone XL:

President Obama dismissing Keystone: “At issue in Keystone is not American oil, it is Canadian oil that is drawn out of tar sands in Canada…That oil currently is being shipped out through rail or trucks and it would save Canadian oil companies and the Canadian oil industry an enormous amount of money if they could simply pipe it down through the United States and through the Gulf…It’s very good for Canadian oil companies and it’s good for the Canadian oil industry. But it’s not going to be a huge benefit to U.S consumers. It’s not even going to be a nominal benefit to U.S. consumers.” President Obama speaking at an end-of-the-year press conference, December 19, 2014

President Obama on Brazilian oil: “We want to work with you. We want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.  At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.” President Obama speaking in Brasilia during the CEO Business Summit, March 19, 2011

President Obama on cooperation with Cuba: “I also believe that more resources should be able to reach the Cuban people.  So we’re significantly increasing the amount of money that can be sent to Cuba, and removing limits on remittances that support humanitarian projects, the Cuban people, and the emerging Cuban private sector…U.S. financial institutions will be allowed to open accounts at Cuban financial institutions. And it will be easier for U.S. exporters to sell goods in Cuba.” President Obama announcing changes to U.S. policies toward Cuba, December 17, 2014

President Obama on cooperation with China: “On this anniversary, it is a fact that the past three and a half decades have seen an extraordinary growth in the ties between our two countries—more trade, more collaborations between our businesses and scientists and researchers, more connections between the Chinese and the American people, from tourists to our students. And it is a fact that when we work together, it’s good for the United States, it’s good for China, and it is good for the world.” President Obama speaking in Beijing during a joint press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping, November 12, 2014

President Obama on cooperation with Russia: “The U.S.-Russian relationship has to be about more than just security and arms control.  It has to be about our shared prosperity and what we can build together. That’s why we created the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission during my visit to Moscow last year—to forge new partnerships, not just between governments, but between our businesses, our peoples and our societies. And today we agreed to forge new cooperation across a whole range of areas. In particular, we’re expanding trade and commerce. We agreed to deepen our collaboration on energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.” President Obama speaking at a joint press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, June 24, 2010



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