Canada's conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, understands that energy means influence and independence. It would be tough to argue that Canada is on some kind of power trip, and it's not difficult to understand why the country is interested in establishing oil trade deals that would help its closest ideological allies retain their energy independence.
Decisions by Europe and America in the past month have pushed away Canada and its oil overtures under the guise of environmentalism -- which is turning out to be the new protectionism. And for what? So America and Europe can explore more "green-friendly" petroleum deals with unstable Middle Eastern and African regimes? It's not as if curtailing purchasing can stop production. China has expressed an interest in having it shipped in -- so Europe and America are effectively shifting any environmental impact to another part of the globe with even fewer controls.
The latest blow came a few days ago, when the U.S. government delayed the Keystone crude oil pipeline that would deliver Canadian oil to Texas. Officials cited concern over a water supply in Nebraska along the pipeline's proposed route. Who knows now whether the project will ever be completed. In the meantime, Canada is gushing out more oil than it knows what to do with, while the American government ensures that its citizens remain at the mercy of Middle Eastern regional strife and whether or not a petro-sheik wakes up on the right side of the bed.
So if you're an American upset about the price of oil, blame the government. It just had an opportunity to lower the price but gave it away -- likely to the Chinese, who will gladly choke the polar bears that Westerners won't.