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Canada demands final Keystone XL verdict from US

01.16.2014  | 

“The time for Keystone is now,” Canada's foreign minister said Thursday. “I’ll go further -- the time for a decision on Keystone is now, even if it’s not the right one. We can’t continue in this state of limbo.”



 Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird called on the US to end the “state of limbo” over the Keystone XL pipeline.

“The time for Keystone is now,” Baird said Thursday in a speech to the USChamber of Commerce in Washington. “I’ll go further -- the time for a decision on Keystone is now, even if it’s not the right one. We can’t continue in this state of limbo.”

Canada is counting on TransCanada's $5.4 billion project to connect its vast reserves of crude oil to the world’s largest refining center along the US Gulf Coast. The pipeline would help oil-sands developers reach their goal of doubling production by 2025 and raise the prices they are paid for the fuel.

The US State Department is preparing a final version of an environmental review that will assess whether Keystone, which has been opposed by environmentalists, would contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions that scientists say are warming the planet. Baird said he hopes the review will be published in the coming weeks.

President Barack Obama said in June he wouldn’t approve the project if it significantly worsened carbon pollution.

“US energy independence is too important,” Baird said in his speech, to explain why a decision on the pipeline is needed. “The environment is too important. Our economies are too important.”

Baird, who meets with his US and Mexican counterparts tomorrow, said Keystone is still the top Canadian energy priority with the US, and said his government is working hard to persuade Obama to approve the project.

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Eric Vetters

Transcanada should build a pipeline to the border; then straddle the border with a rail car. They could then pump through the rail car and back into the pipeline. That way the border crossing is by rail and not pipeline, which gets around the law.

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