Canada must have a ‘Plan B’ in case Obama rejects Keystone: report

Canada must have a plan in case U.S. President Barack Obama doesn’t allow the Keystone XL pipeline go through America's heartland, believe experts, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been making a more aggressive push for the project over the past few months.

Late last month he told the Canadian American Business Council in New York that he would not "take 'no' for an answer" from the White House, sparking mounting assumptions about what Harper has in mind.

According to sources quoted by Financial Post, Plan B scenarios could involve lawsuits, trade retaliation or simply waiting for a new administration, while maintaining diplomacy and keeping up the pressure.

Keystone enthusiasts could, for instance, buy some time by picking a fight under the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, suggests the report.

“They could argue that a rejection restricts Canada/U.S. trade and introduces a barrier that is contrary to the agreement,” it adds.

However, experts argue that legal challenges are an extreme and confrontational tool, which could backfire in other ways.

Despite Canada’s leader talk of insisting on Keystone, the country doesn’t seem to have real options for reviving the project if the US rejects it, especially because the $7 billion pipeline has become one of the most contentious issues in U.S. politics.

The project supporters say it will create much-needed jobs while opponents argue it will accelerate climate change.

Obama's disparaging comments lately have cast further doubt on whether he will give the green light.

Image by Pete Souza.