Way to many people have the boogeyman syndrome when it comes to their perceived impact of a Donald J Trump presidency. Believe me I get why but I will point out that there are many of the “anybody but Trump” crowd that have come over to the dark side. They see beyond his bombastic posturing and are focused on his policies and what they are likely to deliver. At the end of the day, delivery is what it is all about and you can be certain that Trump will shake the shit out of the tree if elected to office whereas Hilary would sit comfortably under it and wait for the apples to fall into her hand.
I have heard my family and friends say that if Trump wins, he will close the Canadian border to trade and exercise his “America first” protectionist policies. He will rip up NAFTA and we will be out in the cold. They believe that primarily because that is what he has said and what CBC has been parroting for months, but it will not be practical for him to do. Trudeau and Notley’s inattention to the Oil and Gas industry has been disastrous for Alberta. Neither of them so much as challenged Obama on the logic and pragmatism for the cancellation of the KXL pipeline. Notley campaigned against the Keystone XL so that was really no surprise to anyone.
I believe that a Trump presidency will be very good for Canada’s oil industry and here’s why. The single biggest impediment to a healthy Canadian oil industry is the lack of market access and the Keystone XL pipeline will deliver product to the gulf coast and will go a long way in solving the land-locked issue. In their August convention, the Rebublican party declared they would build the KXL pipeline. Trump’s message throughout this campaign has been scattered, inconsistent and more often than not incoherent with the exception of one core theme, American security. American security in the form of secured borders, immigration reform and energy security. The US is the single biggest consumer of Oil and their appetite under the supposed enviro-president Obama has only increased. Under Obama’s watch US domestic oil production has grown by about 78%. Even with America becoming more energy self-sufficient, they still import about 9.5 million bbl/day with almost 1/2 coming from Canada. Quietly over the last 25 years Canada has outpaced Venezuela, Mexico and the Middle East to become America’s biggest and most strategically important supplier of Oil . This has happened primarily for 2 reasons. 1) Refiners have built upgraders that can process Canadian heavy crude and 2) Canada is 1 of only 2 stable suppliers to the USA in the World, the other is Norway. The bulk of the remaining 4.5 million bbls/day that America imports comes from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Venezuela, Mexico, Nigeria…hmmmmm….not exactly paying passengers on the Trump Train.
Trump will do everything to minimize his countries reliance on rogue states and his goal will be to source more of their energy needs from a secure and stable source, because ultimately that leads to a more secure America. America will always be a net importer of oil and under Trump a larger proportion of that supply will come from their friendly northern neighbor. KXL will be built under Trump (if TCPL is still interested and that’s a big if). Obama dithered for 7 years, commissioned study after study and even when his own EPA came back with scientifically backed report that revealed that building KXL would lead to less emissions, he made the grandstanding decision to kill the project. This was clearly a move that appealed to his eco-warrior base and something he obviously felt would secure his legacy as an environmental president. The reality is it made America less secure because they will have to continue to rely on rogue states for their energy needs.