Oliver Reiterates U.S. Will Back Keystone If Judged on Merits

The U.S. will approve TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline project if it’s judged on its merits, Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said.

Oliver, speaking today to reporters in Vancouver, said “if the facts and the science are taken into consideration, I’m comfortable that it will be approved.”

President Barack Obama, in remarks yesterday about carbon emissions, didn’t indicate whether he favored approval. A draft State Department analysis, released March 1, said that the pipeline would have minimal impact on climate change because the oil sands would be mined and developed with or without Keystone XL.

“The economic arguments are very strong in terms of national security, jobs, economic growth and revenue on both sides of the border,” Oliver said about Keystone. “For the U.S., the opportunity to displace oil from less reliable, less friendly sources, where there isn’t a level of disclosure or environmental protection, and move to purchasing oil from a friend, an ally, an environmentally responsible and reliable source of crude oil, is a real advantage.”

Oliver reiterated diversifying trade away from the U.S., which consumes about three quarters of Canada’s exports, is a national priority that goes beyond Keystone.

“The strategic issue of market diversification is a critical one for the country, and Keystone XL by itself cannot possibly solve that whole problem,” the minister said.

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