Just as he promised he would do if the United States rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, Prime Minister Stephen Harper headed to Beijing earlier this week on a four-day trade mission in which he is expected to seek a deal to sell millions of barrels of Canadian oil to China. Since China is aggressively pursuing energy deals around the world to support its economic expansion, expect Harper to come home with an official signature on the dotted line.
Harper is accompanied on the mission by dozens of Canadian business executives, including several from Syncrude, the consortium that produces thousands of barrels of oil daily from the Athabasca oil sands. That's the place the Keystone XL pipeline -- proposed by TransCanada, another north-of-the-border energy giant -- would have funneled 700,000 barrels per day to the United States, if not for Obama's rejection. Some portion of the estimated 20,000 new jobs that would have been created here will also be exported to China.
Meanwhile, here in the United States, besides continued high unemployment, drivers endured the most expensive January gas prices ever, according to the Los Angeles Times. "January is typically a month of falling gasoline prices because fuel demand falters in the slower travel weeks that follow the year-end holidays," the Times reports. "Not so this year."
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