Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said the Canadian government is hopeful the U.S. will do the “right thing” and approve TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline.
Oliver told reporters in Ottawa today that approving the pipeline is in the best interests of the U.S. and that failing to approve it would cost Canada jobs and revenue.
“The immediate cost would be the employment in Canada that would be lost and the revenue from the additional sales,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa today. He reiterated that building additional pipeline capacity to transport crude to ocean ports from Alberta’s oil sands is a “strategic objective” of Canada.
The pipeline project needs approval from the U.S. State Department because it crosses an international boundary. In January 2012, the Obama administration rejected a proposed route for the pipeline after concerns were raised about the impact of the project on an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska. The route now under consideration was submitted in May.
Thousands of protesters marched to the White House Feb. 17 to oppose the pipeline, which environmental groups say would worsen the risks of climate change by encouraging development of Alberta’s oil sands.
Keystone XL would move oil-sands bitumen to the U.S. Gulf Coast, one of a number of conduits Oliver said are needed to relieve an oil glut and lift prices for Canadian crude, among the cheapest in the world.
A rejection of the Keystone project by the U.S. would give Canada more impetus to build pipeline projects to move the country’s oil to non-U.S. markets, he said, adding he wouldn’t consider a dismissal a betrayal of Canada.
“We’re hopeful that they’ll do the right thing,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa today. “We’re respectful of their regulatory process.”
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