Kai Nagata

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Kai is a fourth-generation British Columbian, based in Vancouver. He works as a consultant and commentator, with a focus on energy, stewardship, and democracy. Trained in journalism, Kai has held positions at CBC, CTV, and The Tyee. His writing also appears in the Vancouver Sun and the Toronto Star. He blogs at kainagata.com.

Is Keystone in the National Interest? Of Canada, That Is?

keystone xl

It's up to the U.S. President to decide whether the cross-border leg of the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest of his country. Ultimately, his criteria are less scientific than political. Does he stand to lose more by alienating those who support or oppose the project?

With midterm elections coming up in November, Obama doesn't have time to worry about Canada's hurt feelings. Our economy, environment and opinion are very low on his list of priorities.

But the strongest pro-Keystone arguments on the American side raise an uncomfortable question: if the pipeline is approved, who benefits a little bit — and who benefits a lot? In other words, who gets the short end of the stick?