OTTAWA, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- It's tough to imagine why the United States wouldn't want to build a pipeline to tap into the third-largest oil deposits in the world, a Canadian leader said.
The U.S. State Department is expected to make a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline by the end of the year. The State Department needs to sign off on the project because it would cross national borders. It found no significant problems with the pipeline during an environmental review, though activists have used the project to showcase what they see as bad U.S. energy policies.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in an interview with Bloomberg News, said there were too many economic and energy benefits to not build the pipeline.
"It's hard for me to imagine that the eventual decision would be to not build," he said. "The need for the energy in the U.S. is enormous, and its alternatives are not good on every level -- economic, political, social, even environmental."
The International Energy Agency ranks Canada third behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela in terms of oil reserves. The vast majority of that oil is found in so-called tar sands oil in Alberta province.
Canadian officials had said they would look to China if the United States doesn't want its oil. Harper said, however, that Canada doesn't play political games with its oil, noting Canada "is already the largest supplier of energy" to the United States.