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Harper sees LNG export potential in the Crimean crisis

The front-page headline article in today’s Globe and Mail reports, “Stephen Harper and Barack Obama are each urging European allies to support sanctions targeting Russia’s energy sector, with both leaders saying North America could help Western Europe end its dependence on Russian natural gas.”

“Mr. Harper expressed hope that liquefied natural gas shipments to Europe could one day offer another overseas market for Canada.” The prime minister may have in mind for the European market the proposed Pieridae Energy Ltd. Goldboro LNG export terminal to be constructed in Guysborough, Nova Scotia.

“(In a speech to a business audience in Munich yesterday), Mr. Harper said a reduction in gas shipments to Europe would be devastating for Russia, where the government treasury depends heavily on petroleum revenue. …(Germany) is a major consumer of Russia’s natural-gas exports, which would be a main target of any sanctions.”

“(Meanwhile, in a speech in Brussels), the U.S. President pitched Europeans on a U.S.-European trade deal as a way to reduce the EU’s reliance on Russian energy and strengthen its ability to stand up to Moscow.”

Yesterday, Council of Canadians trade campaigner Stuart Trew commented, “The EU’s trade negotiations with Canada and the U.S. come into play in a big way here. …The EU is trying to use the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks to loosen or eliminate U.S. restrictions on energy and raw resources exports. Canada has no such restrictions so the government has used ongoing Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement negotiations to try to entice European investment to Canada while constraining EU environmental leadership through WTO-plus chapters on technical barriers to trade and regulatory cooperation.”

For more on this, please see Trew’s blog, Harper seizes Crimean crisis to sell tar sands and fracked gas to Europe.