Energy Face-Off: North American Energy Independence vs. Canada's Export Plans

December 18, 2012

The delay in Keystone XL and the barrage of protests and negative press served as a major wake-up call in Canada. It was viewed as a slap in the face to the Canadian government and TransCanada Corporation; Prime Minister Stephen Harper has since publicly commented that Canada should be looking to expand export capability to growing markets in Asia-Pacific, or Canada will run the risk of stunting the development of its oil industry in Western Canada.
-John M. Devir, executive vice president and convertible portfolio manager, PIMCO


  • President Obama’s November 2011 postponement of a decision on whether to permit an oil pipeline from Canada’s oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast caused a barrage of protests and negative press in Canada.
  • Canada’s new focus on building capacity to sell to Asia-Pacific could hinder U.S. ambitions of energy independence from overseas oil, since the U.S. imports roughly 30% of its crude oil from Canada.
  • We see investor opportunities in rail transportation and pipeline systems that possess excess capacity.

Who is the most unpopular American citizen in Canada? It depends on whom you ask. The average Canadian citizen would almost certainly say Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League. He has been criticized for “Americanizing” hockey by expanding into non-traditional markets in the South and Southwest at the expense of more traditional markets in Canada and the Northern U.S., as well as his role in three labor stoppages. At this writing, the 2012-2013 season is in danger of being canceled (ŕ la the 2004-2005 season) – it may be a long cold winter for hockey fans.

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