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Reading between the lines: Did Obama brush aside Harper’s environmental proposal?

An interesting diary over at Talking Points Memo on this topic attempts such an analysis from reading the quotes of Harper in the media over the last week before and after talking to Obama:

Interestingly, on their conversation regarding climate change Harper said: “The new president has expressed a desire to participate fully in global efforts to fix the problems of greenhouse gases.” I stress “global” since it appears to be a subtle shift from statements made by the Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon earlier in the week that indicated the Canadian desire to pursue a “North American” approach. My initial concern was that Harper would use some regional scheme to try and rope Obama into following the obstructionist stance he pursued at last year’s UN meetings in Bali. Is Harper’s characterization of Obama’s commitment to “global efforts” an indication that he was cool to the Prime Minister’s position?

That’s a very good question. We probably won’t really know until President-elect Obama is sworn in on January, though as I said, his picks for the EPA and whether or not he decides to add Al Gore in an environmental role in his administration will be telling hints whether he thinks Harper is trying to play games with the environment. Under no circumstances does Harper want Big Oil losing a bit of their multi-billion dollar profits to, you know, actually having to do something substantial to cut down on GHG gases, and have Canada commit to fighting something that is a question still whether Harper actually believes is a problem or not (“so-called Greenhouse Gases”, as he has said).

Personally, I hope Obama and whoever he puts in there – be it Kennedy and/or Gore or others – tells Harper to stick it, and get back to them when you have a real climate change fighting plan, rather then the “complete and utter fraud” of one (quoting Al Gore) that he has put in place now.

[email protected] 4:28pm: Good point from my comment section about what Obama is proposing at his change.gov site for the environment:

You might want to take a look at President Elect Obama’a new web site..If Harper has he’s probably having conniption fits already. Not only does Obama’s plan propose a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits in order to give American families tax rebates, he also wants to enact serious cap and trade measures, end American reliance on imported oil (particularly “dirty oil”) and invest in green technologies. The program reads very much like the Green Shift

Those cap and trade measures are calling for GHG emissions to be reduced by 80% when 2050 rolls around. Those aren’t using “intensity targets”, I can tell you. Those are hard caps. I think Harper is going to have a pretty tough time convincing Obama and his administration to exclude the Tarsands from any new US tough climate change laws – when its responsible for a lot of the GHG emitted up here.

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