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Harper Says Obama’s Comments on Keystone Were Non-Committal

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Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said comments by President Barack Obama on TransCanada Corp.’s planned $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline were non-committal, and reiterated that he believes the project is in the interests of both countries.

The U.S. State Department, which has jurisdiction because it crosses an international border, is expected to make a decision by the end of the year. Obama said Nov. 2 in an interview with KETV, an Omaha, Nebraska television station, that jobs created by the pipeline wouldn’t be worth the health and safety consequences if a spill contaminated water supplies.

“I read the president’s comments. I thought on balance they were non-committal and he indicated he had yet to make a decision,” Harper told reporters in Cannes, France, where he attended a meeting of leaders from Group of 20 countries. “It’s a project that will not only create a vast number of jobs in both our countries but is essential to American energy security.”

Keystone would link Canada’s oil sands to U.S. refineries near the Gulf of Mexico coast. The 2,673-kilometer (1,661-mile) pipeline would begin in Hardisty, Alberta, and cross Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

To contact the reporters on this story: Theophilos Argitis in Cannes, France at targitis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net.