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`Ethical' strategy failed on Keystone, say observers

The stunning Obama administration decision to put the brakes on a major pipeline expansion project linking Canadian oil to Texas refineries suggests the federal government needs to revisit its multimillion-dollar lobbying and marketing strategy to promote Canada as an "ethical" source of energy, observers and industry stakeholders said Friday.
"It clearly didn't work," said Michael Levi, a senior fellow from the Council of Foreign Relations, an influential New York-based think-tank that does research on foreign policy issues in the United States.

"It's not clear that the Canadian government was effectively speaking to the people it needed to convince. The ethical oil slogan seems to mostly work with people who already agree with it (and) the sentiment behind it."

Levi, who directs the American think-tank's program on energy security and climate change, said the U.S. government's decision to extend an environmental review of the project by 18 months has caught many stakeholders off guard, including environmental groups.

"I think industry was surprised," he said. "I think the protesters were surprised (and) I think that they are pretty thrilled by this."

to read the article published in: The Vancouver Sun, Nov 10, 2011, click on


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