Keystone XL Approval Energizes Canadian Petroleum Industry

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David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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The Canadian oil industry is “highly enthused” about President Donald Trump’s executive order approval of the long-awaited Keystone XL pipeline.

Tim McMillan, the president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, told The Daily Caller that  he expected a positive decision from the new administration in Washington, but he “was surprised to have them do it so quickly, right after the inauguration.  The new president didn’t waste any time and it was obvious that this meant a lot to them.”

He predicted that the pipeline would bring cross-border “jobs, energy security and economic opportunity.”

In his interview with TheDC, McMillan said the construction of Keystone will have an immediate effect on linking Canada, with the third largest oil resources, to the Gulf Coast, with the largest refining capacity.  “Infrastructure has not kept pace with demand,” he says, adding that Keystone will mean “more efficiency, lower costs and will attract investors.”

In his announcement Tuesday, President Trump warned that he will “renegotiate some of the terms,” of Keystone but he did not elaborate further.  It may involve extracting cash from the TransCanada Pipelines or the Canadian government.

“Subject to a renegotiation of terms by us – we’re going to renegotiate some of the terms. And if they’d like, we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built,” Trump said.

McMillan said he didn’t want to speculate on what exactly these terms might be but he indicated that TransCanada Pipelines, the Canadian company responsible for the line, “is in a good position” and prepared for any challenge or contingency that might arise from any future negotiation.

The official response of the Liberal government mixed its support for Keystone with the its continued commitment to environmental legislation — such as a national carbon tax — that is at odds with the Trump administration.

“As a government that has strongly supported Keystone from day one, we welcome this U.S. decision,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said. “And I do want to emphasize [that] our position from the start has been the environment and economy go together. We really believe that it is not just possible but essential to have strong policies on climate change – the strongest policy a government of Canada has ever had on putting a price on pollution – and at the same time to fulfill our duty as a government to get natural resources to market. And I think we’re getting there.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing for a town hall meeting in Calgary Tuesday night where he can use some good news.  His support for a national carbon tax and concentration on environmental issues are not popular with many Albertans or the energy sector.

Trudeau is nearing the end of a three-day ministerial retreat that was designed to prepare a “Trump strategy” that would enable Trudeau’s Liberal government to work with the new American administration.

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