Canada Looks to Asia to Sell Crude Oil After Delay in Keystone XL Pipeline
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper made Canada’s disappointment in the controversial Keystone XL decision delay clear Sunday at the Asian-Pacific Cooperation summit in Hawaii.
Harper said delays on the U.S. side to assess the Keystone XL pipeline proposal are a disappointment, before heading to a meeting with President Barack Obama at the end of the APEC summit, reported the CBC.
“We have already indicated of course that we are disappointed,” Harper told reporters in Hawaii, where the summit was held. “Nonetheless, I remain optimistic that the project will eventually go ahead because it makes eminent sense.”
The prime minister also noted that Obama said a final decision had not been made.
Harper said the recent decision to delay the construction of the $7 –billion pipeline has been met with “extremely negative reaction” in the U.S. because the project is “obviously what’s in the best interests of not just of the Canadian economy but also the American economy.”
Harper noted that the delay draws attention to Canada’s need to look for new markets in Asia for its oil and gas. “I did indicate to him, as I did to the president of China yesterday [Saturday], as our government has indicated, this highlights why Canada must increase its efforts to make sure it can supply its energy outside of the United States and into Asia in particular,” Harper said.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver told CBC News on Sunday that the U.S. decision to put the project on hold pending an environmental-impact assessment will cost the Canadian company pushing the project. Oliver said the study order by the U.S. State Department “will be costly for” Calgary-based TransCanada Corp.
The project that is waiting U.S. approval is seeking to build the Keystone XL pipeline expansion from Hardisty, Alta., across the border to Nebraska, where it would meet up with an existing pipeline. In addition, another section would run south to Port Arthur and Houston in Texas form Cushing, Okla.
The project that has been met with opposition from environmentalists could create about 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in the U.S. if approved.
Meanwhile, business leaders are urging President Obama to approve the pipeline. The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) announced Monday its support for swift action on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The agency urges Obama to order the U.S. State Department to approve the pipeline swiftly, reported the Sacramento Bee.
“We believe that Keystone XL should be approved and built as soon as possible,” says USHCC Board Member, Marc Rodriguez. “The USHCC supports the Keystone XL pipeline not only for the economic benefit it will bring to the state of Texas, but to the entire country.”