Canada’s natural resources minister says that he hopes the new U.S. administration will allow the Keystone XL pipeline quashed by Barack Obama to proceed, noting that all Canadian regulatory approvals are in place.
Jim Carr spoke to CTV’s Power Play from Washington, D.C., where U.S. President Donald Trump was inaugurated Friday. Defence Minister Harijit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland were also in the U.S. capital.
Carr said that “all of the approvals that have to be in place are in place in Canada” and that Trump “should know and Canadians should know that we think the project is good for Canada.”
Carr said that he believes the project “will create jobs and be good both for American workers and Canadian workers.” The 1,897-kilometre pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska was rejected by Barack Obama in Nov. 2015 after pressure from environmental groups.
Some have suggested Alberta’s oil sector will no longer need Keystone XL to get its products to market after the Liberals approved two other pipeline expansions in November. The Kinder Morgan expansion through metro Vancouver and Line 3 replacement through Saskatchewan and Manitoba were approved in November. The Northern Gateway project proposed for northern B.C., was rejected by the Liberals at the same time.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in November that during their first-ever phone call, Trump “brought up Keystone XL and indicated that he was very supportive of it and hoping that were going to be able to work together.”
During last year’s election campaign Trump said he would approve it but also said “the people of the United States should be given a piece -- a significant piece -- of the profits.”
Tim McMillan, the head of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said Friday that Trump’s “America first” themed inaugural address is a “bit of a wake-up call that we need to strengthen our relationships on energy with other countries.”
"For our industry, where we have an integrated system -- we have energy going both north and south -- I think we will be very conscious to ensuring that how our interests are aligned is clear with the new administration,” McMillan said.
An "America First" energy policy statement posted Friday on Trump’s official White House says his administration is “committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans and maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.”
Carr said that any “concessions” that Trump demands on Keystone “would be a conversation, no doubt, that he would have with the proponent, TransCanada.”
“The job of government is to assure that the regulatory process is credible, that it’s seen to be fair and that there’s a balance between environmental integrity and job creation,” Carr said. “We think that is the job that we have done … it will now be up to the American administration.”