Does a championship team ever get much out of visiting the White House? A photo with the president? Some knickknacks, maybe? Usually it's not a whole lot. Unless you're Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter, and you own a 3,000-acre ranch in Alberta, and you seek Barack Obama's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a planned transport for crude oil from Canada to Louisiana. Then you get a rare lobbying opportunity.
“I’m gonna ask him about it—damn rights I am,” said Mr. Sutter.
A parade of Canadians have made their way to Washington in recent weeks to win Mr. Obama’s backing for the controversial pipeline, which would transport 800,000 barrels a day of oil-sands bitumen to the world’s largest refining hub on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
But Mr. Sutter might just be the first to use the Stanley Cup as a means of voicing his opinion. For the record, the Alberta-born Mr. Sutter is in favour of the pipeline.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s 20 feet underground. How can we not want to keep North America [energy self-sufficient]? Why does the border have to separate that? It doesn’t make sense. For sure, I’m going to ask him.”
The U.S. Senate passed a non-binding resolution in support of the pipeline on Friday, but President Obama hasn't yet expressed strong feelings either way. Environmental concerns might doom the plan—spills could contaminate important aquifers, and oil-sands refining creates more pollution than traditional refining—but Canadians really want this thing.
As for the rest of the Kings? Well, politics isn't really their concern:
After careful consideration I've decided not to visit the White House today for political reasons LOL JK I'm not an idiot!Free trip? I'm in!— Dustin Penner (@Dustinpenner25) March 26, 2013
Darryl Sutter to bend Obama’s ear about Keystone XL pipeline [The Globe and Mail]