Justin Trudeau’s Energy Chief Says Canada Can Work With Trump
Canada’s energy minister said he can find common ground with President-elect Donald Trump on oil pipelines and energy infrastructure.
“We’re very careful not to judge this administration on anything other than what they do. And what they do will become better known after January 20th,” Jim Carr, Canada’s minister of natural resources, told reporters Wednesday.
His comments suggest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration is taking a “wait and see” approach to the real estate tycoon-turned-president-elect. Carr also floated the possibility the prime minister could find “areas of common cause” with the incoming Trump administration.
Trump’s victory has also bolstered hopes the Keystone XL pipeline, which was rejected by President Barack Obama last year, might get a new lease on life. Carr said it’s up to the company behind Keystone and the U.S. government to decide whether to proceed.
The pipeline’s fate is now up to Trump, who campaigned on updating U.S. infrastructure and not impeding coal and oil projects. The president elect has hinted that his administration would move quickly to approve another controversial oil line – the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Trudeau has approved several pipelines, arguing that such projects play a crucial role in reducing Canada’s carbon emission levels.
Carr and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, for instance, approved the-now controversial Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline along with Enbridge’s Line 3.
The $6.8 billion project was not considered controversial when Trudeau gave his seal of approval in early December, because it follows an already existing line, but environmentalists bristled at the prime minister’s reasoning behind the decision.
Activists filed a lawsuit on Dec. 20 claiming the pipeline could hasten the extinction of the Southern Resident killer whales. The case is weeding its way through the country’s court system.
Trudeau’s lukewarm feelings on Trump’s energy plans signal a new era in US-Canada pipeline projects
Trump has nominated oil bosses to high level positions in his cabinet – Rex Tillerson, the Exxon Mobil CEO is due to become secretary of state, while Rick Perry, the former governor of oil-rich Texas, is tapped to head the U.S. Energy Department.
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