CALGARY, Alberta, June 22 (UPI) -- The Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canadian oil fields is used for political purposes in the United States but it should be cleared by 2013, an official said.
Critics of U.S. President Barack Obama's domestic energy policy have tried to push legislation to get the Keystone XL pipeline approved. The White House, however, said it would veto such efforts.
Laura Lochman, outgoing U.S. counsel general for Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories, told officials in Calgary that despite moves to advance a low-carbon economy, Canadian crude oil was still an important component of the U.S. energy mix.
"I said in 2009 that Canada is our most secure, reliable source of energy in the world -- a pillar of U.S. energy security -- and that has only resonated more over the last three years," she was quoted by the Calgary Herald as saying.
Canadian oil represents about 24 percent of all U.S. oil imports, a 6 percent increase from 2009.
Lochman said trends suggest Keystone XL was a favorable project.
Doug Bloom, chairman of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, said most of the Keystone XL pipeline debate had little to do with energy security.
"I would think that Keystone XL is really, at the end of the day, a political issue that will get resolved very shortly after the next presidential election (in November)," he said.
The White House rejected a permit for the pipeline in January citing environmental concerns. The company behind the project, TransCanada, has since reapplied.