Mr. Trudeau’s strategy has been about balance. He not only promised that cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and exporting Alberta oil could go together, he said they must. The public would not support emissions reductions if they hobble the economy, he argued, and foreign buyers won’t accept Canadian oil unless the country acts on emissions.
The political calculus seemed to be confirmed when Mr. Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline just as Mr. Trudeau took office. The moral, it seemed, was that without climate policies, oil sands exports would be constrained.
Alberta’s NDP Premier Rachel Notley used the same argument – and that was critical because Mr. Trudeau’s national plan depends on Alberta restricting emissions.
But now there’s president-elect Trump. He said he would approve Keystone XL, and cancel Mr. Obama’s Clean Power Plan. In other words, Mr. Trump is telling Canada there’s no need to reduce emissions, and the United States is still happy to let Alberta oil exports flow.
That undercuts Mr. Trudeau’s arguments. And it undercuts Ms. Notley. Opponents, such as Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Jason Kenney, are already opposing her emissions-reduction policies. And if a new Alberta government elected in 2018 repeals her promise to cap oil sands emissions, then Mr. Trudeau’s national emissions plan will unravel.Good. It was all a gibungous tax-grab that would have done diddly to "save" the planet.