Alberta weighs in on Keystone XL measure

Consider spirit of bilateral energy ties, Alberta premier tells White House.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Feb. 12, 2015 at 9:36 AM
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EDMONTON, Alberta, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The White House should give the bilateral energy partnership strong consideration when mulling its next steps on Keystone XL, Alberta's premier said.

Members of the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a Senate version of a bill meant to facilitate the construction of the cross-border Keystone XL oil pipeline. The bill now heads to President Barack Obama's desk for consideration.

An executive order gives the U.S. State Department vetting power over the pipeline and the Environmental Protection Agency said recently further considerations should be given because previous studies on the pipeline were conducted in a different economic climate.

The pipeline was proposed more than six years ago. Obama said he'd veto any legislation meant to circumvent normal review procedures.

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, who recently visited Washington to make his case for the pipeline, said bipartisan support in the United States for the project should give the president something to consider.

"The Keystone XL pipeline represents the next step in a broader story," he said in a statement Wednesday. "Although President Obama has said he will veto this legislation, I hope he will ultimately choose to continue to build on our lasting energy and environmental partnership."

Canada sends nearly all of its oil to the United States. Prentice, speaking as the environment minister in 2011, said the country would never get a fair value for its resources unless it expands its export options beyond North America.

Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said in a short-term review more pipeline access to export markets was necessary for the durability of the country's energy sector.

There was no statement from the White House on the pipeline measure. U.S. State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said there's no update to the review process, adding "it's an ongoing process that doesn't have a deadline."

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