Another anti-Canadian oil decision came late last month from the European Union. Canada has been trying to work out a free-trade deal with Europe, but the bloc ruled last month that Canadian crude oil extracted from oil sands is more of a pollutant than other sources of oil, assigning it a bureaucratic rating to reflect this assessment. Canada is arguing that over the course of the entire extraction-to-delivery cycle, oil sand products are no dirtier than other alternatives, and is criticizing the lack of transparency in the decision while threatening to appeal the decision to the World Trade Organization. Europeans, meanwhile, are selling their first-to-sixth-born children to put gas in their Renaults.
It's not that Europeans couldn't use Canadian oil. European countries are currently negotiating for oil with post-Gaddafi Libya, without really yet knowing who they're dealing with. They've been importing it from Russia, contributing to Putin's oil-for-influence program. Not too long ago, Russia shut off Europe's oil tap because it got into a tiff with Belarus, and the pipeline to Europe runs through that country. All these headaches, and yet Europe doesn't currently ship in any oil from Canada, although it quite feasibly could -- if it weren't for blatant protectionism cloaked in environmentalism.
It doesn't help that domestic Canadian lobbying groups are actively working against their own economic interests, claiming oil sand products inherently damage aboriginals and perform unspeakable acts on Mother Nature. Over the past week, I've seen two documentaries on the Kremlin-funded Russian international television network making similar claims about North American natural resource industrialism -- all while Russia opens up its new Nord Stream natural gas line running right under the Baltic Sea from Russia directly into Germany, where it can provide an environmentally friendlier alternative to crude while not ceding an inch of crude-oil imperialism.
No one's telling Russia it has to make cars that plug into walls or put windmills atop the Kremlin. Instead, the West will probably just keep kicking Canada until its own toes bleed.