By Tom Brennan
Canada is generally a good neighbor but sometimes behaves more like a ditzy uncle.
Take its years-long opposition to opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development. Canada long ago sided with the environmentalists and has ignored Alaska’s 50-year experience with the energy industry on its North Slope.
The oil industry in Alaska has a commendable record for protecting the environment in all its operations. There have been accidents, most notably the Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Prince William Sound. (I was directly involved in that one and can testify that it was a dangerous accident turned into a total disaster by political panic.)
Canada says it is concerned for the Porcupine caribou herd which calves on the coastal plain. But if our dear neighbors would simply look to the experience of the Central Arctic caribou herd that calves in and around Prudhoe Bay, they could well conclude that oil development would benefit the Porcupine herd.