Obama insists Canadian pipeline project must meet environmental concerns
June 27, 2013
The oil fields in Alberta, Canada, are a major economic boon to both the province and the nation as a whole. Recently, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project, which would funnel about one million barrels of Alberta crude oil a day to refineries on the Gulf Coast of the United States, made headlines as the focus of a speech by President Barack Obama on June 25. Specifically, the Globe and Mail reported that the pipeline would not be approved by the U.S. if its builders did not design it to produce only a minimal amount of greenhouse gases. Those in the Canadian industry may be discussing this issue with international business colleagues, using an international calling card.
According to the news source, Joe Oliver, Canada's Natural Resources Minister, responded to Obama's statement by appearing to downplay the potential adverse effects of Keystone XL.
"We agree with President Obama's State Department report in 2013, which found that, 'approval or denial of the proposed project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands, or on the amount of heavy crude oil refined in the Gulf Coast area," he said. Those in support of the pipeline could deduce that there would be no major uptick in carbon emissions - the cause of Obama's concern. However, the New York Times reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency openly challenged the State Department's findings.
Obama's statements provoked mixed reactions among those in the industry, and those engaged in environmental activism. Greg Stringham, a member of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said that this would be positive. Conversely, Gillian McEachern of Environmental Defence told the news source that, "No matter how you slice it and dice this, the decision will be based on science and the pipeline will be rejected."
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