WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline would displace foreign oil that may have a greater environmental footprint than Canada's, the Canadian oil minister said.
Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver wrapped up a visit to Washington this week. He was there highlighting the benefits of a strong bilateral energy relationship with the United States.
Canada exports nearly all of its oil to the United States. While Prime Minister Stephen Harper has courted Asian economies, the government is working to advance the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline to move Canadian tar sands oil to southern U.S. refineries.
Pipeline company TransCanada is building a U.S. leg of the pipeline. President Barack Obama needs to sign off on the cross-border section of Keystone XL.
"Approval [of the pipeline] would displace oil from Venezuela which has repeatedly threatened to cut off its supply to the United States and has the same or higher emissions as the oil sands, with less stringent regulations," Oliver said in a statement Monday.
TransCanada made similar comments last week on word Harper pledged to Obama he would do more to address climate issues.
Obama said he would weigh Keystone XL against its environmental footprint. Canada's heavy crude oil is seen as more corrosive and more carbon-intensive to produce than other grades.
There were no public comments available from Moniz.