Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the U.S. should approve the Keystone XL pipeline because it does little environmental damage and will benefit the economies of the world’s largest trading partners.
“We continue to be open to working with our American partners,” Harper told reporters today near Vancouver. The project’s “environmental impacts are manageable and not significant,” Harper said, adding “the project will enhance energy security for North America.”
Harper wrote to U.S. President Barack Obama last month to ease environmental concerns about Keystone, according to a person familiar with the matter. Obama said in a June speech Keystone shouldn’t be approved if it were found to “significantly exacerbate” greenhouse-gas emissions.
The pipeline linking Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries was proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. (TRP) five years ago and must be approved by Obama after a State Department review.
Harper also said his country remains open to foreign investment after setting some restrictions on how state-owned corporations can bid on oil sands assets.
“We favor a diverse and competitive business environment,” Harper said. He also said state-owned corporations will remain a part of government’s foreign investment strategy.
Harper restricted foreign takeovers by state-owned corporations in Alberta’s oil sands to “exceptional circumstances” in December when he approved Cnooc Ltd. (883)’s $15.1 billion takeover of Nexen Inc.
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