I rarely comment on the politics of energy but this is an obvious case of very different competing Federal interests between Canada and US at this time...
Yes... Canadian "Suncors" need to export because they simply cannot refine all production capacity possible over the coming years out of the Oilsands. Canada is a net commodity exporter... no secret this is how the Canadian government collects taxes from Canadian industry...Voyager upgrader (joint venture with Total) is on ice due to supposedly increasing cheaper Bakken production and frankly no near term routes to export. Moreover the logic of building an inland refinery with no sure ability to flow simply doesn't make sense. While I can appreciate Eastern Canada's economies being held for ransom by Brent pricing, flowing Canadian oil to eastern provinces is not going to support or solve the Canadian government coffers.
Keystone is not a new concept and this strategy was initiated years ago for Canadian producers to get increased production out with a general consensus from Washington at that time. Now everyone says that we need an East/West pipeline because of a reversed consciousness of the US gov't environmental (protectionist) policy. Had Canadian producers and government known the reversal of Washington's strategy months/years ago, we would not be discussing Keystone but rather the successful strategy and completion of an West/East route to foreign markets.
Washington has successfully spun this into an environmental debate regarding both Oilsands and Keystone... Our fault as Canadians... While Obama and Kerry can cloak themselves with environmentalist support, they quietly accept the increased tax revenue from Conoco, Exxon, Chevron, etc from refining cheap Canadian oil and increased agenda to exploit more US producible lands. A political and financial Win / Win for them. While US environmentalists continue to obstruct, they continue to pay $5 per gallon at the pump due to their own country's corporate and federal interests.
With this opposition, there seems to be little political will IMHO (and no support from environmentalists or corporate industry) from Washington to speed up the Keystone process.
This is not an issue of "My country is better than your country" argument nor is it a commentary on Obama's overall domestic/foreign leadership and should not be construed that way. Simply, at this stage Canadian and US agendas' simply don't line up.