Canada Resources Minister Doesn't Expect Keystone Rejection

OTTAWA - Canadian Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Thursday he doesn't anticipate that the Obama Administration will reject TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline project.

Following a speech at a nuclear conference, Mr. Oliver said he's encouraged by comments from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said his passion for the environment is based on scientific evidence.

"That's great because that's what our approach is as well, because we believe we have science and facts on our side," Mr. Oliver said. "And we think it is necessary to get the facts out."

Mr. Kerry is an outspoken proponent for aggressive climate-change policy, and as head of the State Department is leading the Keystone review.

Mr. Oliver reiterated that the Canadian government believes the project is in the best interests of both Canada and the U.S., as it helps boost North American energy security while creating jobs and economic development. He is scheduled to travel next week to Chicago and then Houston to make the case for Keystone XL's benefits.

Keystone XL would carry land-locked heavy crude from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Obama Administration is under pressure from environmentalists to reject the project, due to the impact on the environment from further development of the Alberta oil sands. The White House rejected the pipeline extension last year ahead of the presidential election, although TransCanada was allowed to reapply, which it did.

Last month, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said President Barack Obama's comments on climate change during the State of the Union address were "not encouraging" for Keystone's chances.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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