Martin LukacsLast modified on Fri 9 Feb 2018 08.10 GMT
Canadian government viewed Trump’s election as “positive news” for Keystone XL and energy industry
The Trudeau government treated Donald Trump’s election as “positive news” for Canada’s energy industry and welcomed the help of Canada’s main corporate oil group in lobbying the US administration, documents show.
Meetings conducted by senior government officials with TransCanada and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) reveal an one-sided approach more reminiscent of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s secret oil advocacy than Justin Trudeau’s green electoral promises.
The Liberal government has strongly backed the export of Alberta tar sands via the Keystone XL pipeline, which was initially rejected by the Obama administration on climate grounds but approved by Trump in March 2017.
The documents, obtained through access-to-information, show the Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister met around the same time with TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling and CAPP to discuss the continued promotion of the pipeline and oil exports.
The briefing note states that the oil lobby group “specifically will be interested to hear the outcomes of the recent visits by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Freeland to the United States, as well as volunteering their services (or those of members) in the Government’s U.S. engagement efforts.”
The Parliamentary Secretary was advised to respond by saying “we welcome your engagement offer and would like to stay in touch.”
The Guardian asked CAPP what kind of services they had volunteered but the lobby group declined to answer.
CAPP shares many members with its US-counterpart, the American Petroleum Institute, whose lobbying of the Trump administration has resulted in cuts to environmental regulations and the speed-up of permits for oil and gas drilling.