Canadian Manufacturing

Alta. premier returns to Washington to lobby for Keystone XL

Alison Redford meeting with Canada's ambassador to U.S., members of Congress during trip



WASHINGTON—Alberta Premier Alison Redford is returning to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the Keystone XL pipeline and highlight the province’s record on the environment.

Redford is meeting with Canada’s ambassador to the United States, Gary Doer, and will speak about the Keystone issue at the Brookings Institute.

She will also meet with members of Congress to reiterate the importance of the pipeline to the Canadian and American economies.

U.S. President Barack Obama is to decide later this year on whether to approve the 1,800-kilometre line, which would take oil from Alberta’s oilsands through the U.S. to refineries and ports on the Gulf Coast in Texas.

“She’s going to be down there talking about Keystone and about how Alberta is developing its resources responsibly and how we’re a great trading partner,” said Redford spokeswoman Neala Barton.

A decision on the fate of the $7-billion TransCanada line has already been postponed once by Obama amid widespread concerns from environmentalists.

Protesters have demonstrated by the thousands in Washington over not just the potential environmental damage by any leaks from the Keystone line, but also over what the line represents.

They say by approving Keystone the U.S. would be approving the expansion of carbon-intensive operations like the oilsands and causing further damage to the environment through greenhouse gases.

The petroleum industry, labour groups and Redford have said Keystone XL is a vital measure to bolster Canada’s economy and ensure a stable source of oil for the U.S.

They got a boost recently when the U.S. State Department, in a preliminary report, said rejecting Keystone XL would not reduce greenhouse gas emissions or slow down development in the oilsands.

Obama has stated that he considers action on global warming a cornerstone of his policy making.

Redford has touted her province’s $15-tonne tax on carbon for heavy emitters, but her government has also admitted it’s falling far behind on its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

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