In Brookings, Barry Rabe sees policy potential in renewed U.S.-Canada relations

March 10, 2016

Barry Rabe’s latest blog for Brookings explores how President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau might leverage their new relationship to make progress on climate, water and infrastructure.

“Methane may offer some real opportunity for cross-border collaboration, not just with some ambitious emission-reduction target but a joint plan of action,” writes Rabe. “The long-overlooked issue of methane figures increasingly in drilling extraction in both nations, reflecting sloppy practices and wasteful releases that have largely escaped regulation or taxation.”

Both nations face significant challenges to protecting their water sources, says Rabe. Among other policy priorities, effective Great Lakes stewardship can only be accomplished via cross-border cooperation.

On border infrastructure, Rabe suggests that the U.S. has key lessons to learn from its northern neighbor.

“Trudeau might give a primer to the President (and Congress) on how to take seriously issues of transportation in security across the vast national border. The American lag in this area remains astounding, perhaps most evident in the long-overdue creation of a new crossing at the heavily-travelled connection between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario,” writes Rabe.

Barry Rabe is a professor of public policy in the Ford School and also holds appointments in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Program in the Environment. He recently completed a term as a public policy scholar at the Wilson International Center for Scholars and began a six-month tenure as a visiting scholar at American University. Over the last several months, his research has been cited by The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, International Business Times, Newsweek, and more.