“Canada is a sovereign nation and we will develop our resources with appropriate regulations and enforcement to protect the environment,” said Paula Caldwell St-Onge. The Consulate General of Canada, St-Onge was in Albuquerque to talk up, and answer questions about, the Keystone pipeline.
She’d done media interviews prior to her arrival at the University of New Mexico Science and Technology Park where a smattering of aggressive, sign-waving Keystone opponents awaited. Security escorted St-Onge from the parking lot to the meeting room.
I, too, was addressing the folks who’d come in support of the controversial pipeline.
Sans security, I approached the rotunda alone. (Guards were present to keep the protesters from accosting the attendees who were bold enough to continue past the cluster of vocal opponents shouting accusations about “ruining the planet for the children.”)
When I passed by, one called out: “That’s Marita Noon! She supports the oil-and-gas industry! She doesn’t believe in climate change!” Basking in my newfound celebrity, I turned, smiled, and waved as if I was greeting adoring fans—and entered the building.
I was the first speaker, followed by Bill Eden, international representative of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada. St-Onge rounded out the trio.
Always the optimist, I opened with: “This is an exciting time to be alive!” and addressed the fact that we were on the cusp of achieving the holy grail of energy security that had eluded decades of American presidents. I pointed out how the Keystone pipeline was an important part of that goal. I talked about my visit to the Canadian oil sands and Mexico’s new energy reforms. I bragged about New Mexico’s energy riches.
I looked at St-Onge and repeated my frequent prediction that Keystone would not be approved under the Obama Administration. I stated: “We know that Obama doesn’t care about Republicans. We know he doesn’t care about the oil-and-gas industry. We may even question whether or not he cares about America. But he does care about his base—and, of his base, there are only two groups who care about the Keystone pipeline.” I asked the audience who those two groups were. They rightly asserted: “environmentalists” and “unions.”
I, then, explained what I call the Obama Doctrine—his primary mode of operation: “Reward your friends, punish your opposition.” With a shrug, I told them, “You don’t need to know anything more than that to know that Keystone will not be approved.”