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Harper Says Canada Pushing U.S. for Keystone Permit

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada is pressing the U.S. on every diplomatic level to approve TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline.

Harper, speaking to reporters today in Calgary, said the federal government is lobbying for approval at “every level” in coordination with the nation’s provinces. Harper said he has spoken to President Barack Obama about the proposed pipeline on “several occasions.”

“This is a matter that I think is vital to both the economic growth and energy security, not just of all of Canada, but the United States as well,” he said.

Environmental groups including the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council oppose the Keystone pipeline, which would carry crude from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The U.S. State Department is reviewing the $5.3 billion project because it would cross an international border.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford said this week the province is taking steps to limit the environmental damage of building the pipeline through measures such as caps on greenhouse-gas emissions. Redford was scheduled to meet members of Congress during a two-day visit to Washington, her fourth in 18 months.

Obama has said he will make a decision on an application from Calgary-based TransCanada for the project by the end of the year.

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