Canadian minister reiterates importance of planned Keystone XL pipeline

OTTAWA -- The proposed extension of TransCanada Keystone pipeline would create jobs in the United States and Canada and remains in both countries' best interests, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.

Speaking to reporters in Quebec City, he said the Keystone XL project would boost North American energy security and said his views are well known in Washington. "We are fully convinced that this in the national interest of both countries," he said. "It is in our judgment an important project."

His brief comments mark the first time Mr. Harper has talked about the Keystone after President Barack Obama cast doubt on the number of jobs the project could create, as well as raised concerns about the impact Keystone might have on carbon emissions. The Obama administration has yet to make a final decision on whether to allow the project to proceed.

The planned pipeline, would connect the Alberta oil sands to refineries on the United States Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile, Mr. Harper also commented on TransCanada's proposed pipeline to transport Alberta crude to Canada's east coast. He said it is a good idea "in principle" in terms of selling the country's energy projects. "We need to find pan Canadian solutions," Mr. Harper said, adding, though, the project does face an independent environmental review.

Dow Jones Newswires

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