Canada 'impressed' with Keystone XL vetting

Pipeline is a vital component of bilateral ties, foreign minister says.

By Daniel J. Graeber

OTTAWA, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The Canadian government is "impressed" with the State Department's vetting of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said.

Baird hosted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Ottawa to focus on efforts to contain the Islamic State terror group in the wake of attacks on Canadian lawmakers. On energy issues, the foreign minister said both sides had "a good discussion" about the long-planned Keystone XL oil pipeline.


"We highlighted how impressed we were with the science and the conclusions in the Department of State's report and we look forward to resolving this challenge," his said during a joint press conference Tuesday. "It is obviously an important one for Canada."

A draft environmental impact statement from the State Department says oil sands development in Alberta province would continue regardless of whether the White House gives a permit for Keystone XL.

The pipeline needs federal approval as a cross-border pipeline. Oil sands, the type of oil designated for Keystone XL, are controversial because of the emissions tied to its production and its tendency to linger in the environment.


Pipeline planner TransCanada submitted its application for Keystone XL more than six years ago, to the frustration of supporters who say it's a necessary component of North American energy security.

Kerry said he'd make a decision when it is "appropriate."

"I certainly want to do it sooner rather than later, but I can't tell you a precise date," he said.

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