An Open Letter to President Barack Obama:
Dear Mr. President,
On November 10, when you declared that you were suspending approval for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, you made an historic decision; one that will assuredly go down as a grand and glorious moment in the long and fruitful relationship between the people of the United States of America and their friendly suppliers of OPEC oil.
We at Americans4OPEC congratulate you and thank you for the vision and courage you have shown in recognizing, and defending, the special role that OPEC suppliers have in America.
We know it may not have been the easiest decision.
Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline had made a compelling case.
There were tens of thousands of American jobs to be had at a time when America badly needs them.
Roughly one million barrels of oil from Canada’s oil sands would have moved securely and reliably through Keystone XL, to U.S. consumers, had you approved its construction.
Your own State Department had approved the pipeline’s safety, finding, after thorough investigation, that it would cause “no significant impact” to the environment.
And you were confronted with powerful arguments by foreign policy thinkers that increasing supplies of oil from Canada might be more in line with American “values” and “interests” than continuing to rely on the oil from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela that would have been replaced by Keystone XL’s deliveries.
But you, Mr. President, understood that something more important was at stake: the importance of the American–OPEC friendship.
For more than 40 years, Americans have powered their businesses, fueled their cars, and run their lives with the help of OPEC oil. Through the good times and some, admittedly, very difficult times, OPEC has been part of American life. From the 1970s oil crisis to 9/11, from the rise of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini to the fall of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, OPEC’s presence in American affairs has loomed large.
While there may be occasional differences between our OPEC suppliers and Washington over passing matters such as “human rights” and support for certain…let’s call them fiercely ideological religious fundamentalist worldwide, activist groups, your decision to keep America firmly yoked to its OPEC suppliers proved your ability to see the value of more meaningful elements in our longstanding alliance.
You have demonstrated that you, like us, appreciate and are grateful for the fact that OPEC has kept America furnished with oil, more or less consistently, for decades. We have come to depend on our OPEC friends and they have come to depend on us.
We believe you will have heard the expression in America: “One does not switch one’s horse in mid-stream.” It is clear that you, like us, understand the wisdom of this saying. Canada’s oil may tempt some people in the United States with its promises of security and a higher standard of that elusive concept called “ethics.” But we believe—and we know you agree—that, for better or worse, the world would not be what it is today were it not for America’s prolonged support for OPEC oil.
On behalf of Americans, and on behalf of the countries Americans support and will keep supporting with a continued reliance on OPEC oil, we at Americans4OPEC celebrate your wise and brave decision to stick with the status quo.
As they say in Saudi Arabia: شكرا . Thank you.
Americans4OPEC* Americans4OPEC is not a real organization, but a satire created by EthicalOil.org to highlight the choice Americans now have: A choice between several more decades of dependency on OPEC’s conflict oil or a future built on reliable, secure, and peaceful ethical oil from neighboring Canada.