A Conversation with H.E. Gary Doer

Austin, TX, March 7 2014

Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer

Photo by Amy Zhang (Daily Texan)

The Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program presented a discussion with H.E. Gary Doer, Canadian ambassador to the United States, regarding U.S.- Canada relations, NAFTA and energy security relating to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Ambassador Doer remarked on the invaluable opportunity the U.S. and Canada have at hand with the completion of the Keystone Pipeline, allowing the potential for North American to be more energy independent.  Although the construction of the pipeline is controversial in the U.S. and that a probability of it being halted exists, Amb. Doer expressed that this will not stop the production of oil in Canada.

Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer

From Left to Right: Jorge Piñon, Sharon Mosher, Amb. Gary Doer, Sheila Olmstead; Photo by Edgar Garza (LACP)

Other points made at this important talk was the environmental impact, safety risk, and cost the pipeline has compared to transporting the oil by rail.  Due to the recent events involving the transport of oil via rail has allowed a new facet to enter the pipeline debate.

Sheila Olmstead, public affairs associate professor, and Jorge Piñon, Director of the Latin America & Caribbean Energy Program, joined Amb. Doer in a frank discussion after his remarks with the audience as a third participant.  Professor Olmstead agreed with Amb. Doer in regards to the fact that if the pipeline is not built that it will not stop oil production in North America.  Mr. Piñon also emphasized that over 3000 miles of pipeline were being built in 2014 and over 2100 miles planned beyond 2014. (Oil & Gas Journal)

“If the issue is pipeline as a negative contributor to the environment, how come we’re not opposing these 6,300 miles to be built in this country?” said Piñon.

In October 2009, Gary Doer assumed his responsibilities as Canada’s 23rd representative to the United States of America. Prior to taking up his current position in Washington, Ambassador Doer served as Premier of Manitoba for ten years. During that time, he worked extensively with U.S. Governors to enhance Canada-U.S. cooperation on trade, agriculture, water protection, climate change and renewable energy. Ambassador Doer won three consecutive elections as Premier of Manitoba with successive increased majorities. In 2005, he was named by Business Week magazine as one of the top 20 international leaders on climate change. His government introduced balanced budgets during each of his ten years in office while reducing many taxes, including a plan to eliminate small business tax. As Premier, he led strategic investments in health care, education, and training and infrastructure.