Pipeline company TransCanada is awaiting a presidential permit from the United States to build its Keystone XL pipeline to facilitate the delivery of so-called oil sands to refineries along the southern U.S. coast.
Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer told a Bloomberg News forum in Washington the oil in Alberta would get to market with or without the pipeline.
"It will get to market by trains. It will get there by trucks," he said during the Thursday meeting. "It will get to India, it will get to China and it will continue to have the opportunity to go to U.S. refineries, which create a lot of jobs for the United States for the manufacturing sector on the U.S. Gulf Coast
His comments echo a draft environmental review of the pipeline from the U.S. State Department. That report said some of the environmental drawbacks associated with oil sands production would occur with or without the pipeline.
Supporters of the pipeline said it would ensure North American energy security and provide a source of economic stimulus. Opponents said some of the environmental risks associated with oil sands, like emissions and spill potential, are too great to ignore.
The Sierra Club filed a complaint against the State Department, saying the review was influenced by the oil industry.