By ANDREW MAYEDA and JIM SNYDER
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird called on the US
to end the state of limbo over the Keystone XL
The time for Keystone is now, Baird said Thursday
in a speech to the USChamber of Commerce in Washington.
Ill go further -- the time for a decision on
Keystone is now, even if its not the right one. We
cant 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 worlds 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 wouldnt approve
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