Canadian oil giant Suncor Energy Inc. has finally pulled the pin on its operations in Syria to comply with international sanctions for the Assad regime’s murderous response to once-peaceful democratic uprisings.

For the Calgary-based megacorp, it means turning its back on an annual cash flow of approximately $250 million in natural gas production, a fair whack of money until we’re told it represents less than 3 percent of its cash flow.

But hats off, nonetheless.

The Canadian firm’s experience underlines the difficulty in dealing with that troubled region, which is always a mug’s game for the West.

Putting distance between them and us is rarely wrong.

Over the weekend, as well, U.S. Republican House Leader John Boehner gave Canada’s energy sector a boost when he pushed the need for the Obama administration to buy into the Keystone XL pipeline, which will bring “ethical oil” from Canada’s oil sands — as opposed to the “conflict oil” of the Saudi Arabias of the world — for refining in Texas.

In his weekly television address, Boehner refuted the president’s views, criticizing Obama for delaying approval of Keystone until after the 2012 election when it would not only create thousands of jobs, but also reduce American dependency on foreign oil.

With unemployment in the U.S. at 8.6 percent, job creation could very well decide victory in the presidential election, and the Republicans are clearly bent on making Keystone an election issue.

— Ottawa Sun, Ontario, Dec. 12

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