Canada keeping up pressure on US for Keystone XL approval

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Opposition to KeystoneXL pipeline is not diminishing, despite the recent ruling by the State Department that the line would not significantly contribute to climate change.

Canadian politicians at the federal and provincial level are keeping up their PR and persuasion efforts to convince Americans, particularly American lawmakers, that Canada is a responsible partner for supplying the United States with oil.

The American State Department has already ruled that the Keystone XL pipeline poses no climate change threat, a move that many see as clearing the way for its final approval later this year. However public opposition to the pipeline has never been stronger and more vocal.

But the Canadians are keeping up the public relations effort as the opposition forces increase theirs. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver boasted to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs that Canada will “soon” be taking “concrete action” through regulatory changes in the oil and gas sector to fight climate change. Once these new regulations are in place, he said, Canada will be “one of a very few” oil producing nations to have them. Oliver was also to have a meeting with Chicago mayor, Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff.

Peter Kent, the Environment Minister, said that new regulations will be in place by the middle of the year. The goal is to reduce overall greenhouse emissions by 17 per cent by the year 2020.

The premier of Saskatchewan, following the premier of Alberta by just a few days, has also been pitching Canadian oil in Washington, urging the American lawmakers to approve the pipeline, while also pointing out that his province takes environmental issues seriously. His government invested $1.4 billion in a clean coal development, an amount that is equal to $1,400 for every resident of the province.

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