The Keystone Pipeline's future remains uncertain. However, Canada's new energy minister Greg Rickford said that it is only a matter of time before the Obama administration gives it the green light, which they've been resisting for years due to opposition from environmentalists.
"On the Keystone, we're still very hopeful ... that this will go ahead sooner rather than later, and it will simply add to the economic benefits of pipeline transmission of energy products," Rickford told reporters after a speech in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga on Friday.
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"Obviously we hope sooner rather than later that this is depoliticized, if you will, and that the communities along the pipeline, which include Canada and the United States, can reap the tremendous economic benefits of Keystone," Rickford added.
Canada's Finance Minister Joe Oliver, who preceded Rickford as the nation's energy minister, added that the Canadian government would "never give up on Alberta," Reuters reported
"We will continue to advocate for Keystone until it is approved, as we will advocate for other environmentally responsible projects in the national interest," Oliver said while speaking before a pro-pipeline crowd at Calgary on Friday.
Earlier this month, the White House announced that it would be extending its review of the Keystone XL pipeline
The decision was widely perceived as a procedural punt aimed at putting the final decision off until after the midterms, considering that Republicans and Democrats in red sates have expressed support for the project, while Democrats with environmental interests have opposed it.
Opposition to the Keystone Pipeline was on full display last month, when hundreds of college students were arrested on March 2
for staging a civil disobedience protest in front of the White House.
"Hey, Obama! We don’t want no pipeline drama," was the chant from the 500 or so students that gathered in front of the White House.
The environmental opposition to the pipeline stems from the belief that it could rupture, causing massive spills and endangering those living in rural communities along the pipeline’s route and that it does not produce clean energy and will therefore negatively impact the environment via climate change.
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In contrast, the pipeline is supported by conservatives and left-leaning unions, which argue it will create jobs and severely lessen America's dependence on oil from the Middle East, relying instead on our friendly neighbor to the north to provide us with our crude oil fix.
According to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll
, 65 percent of Americans support the construction of the pipeline, which would bring crude oil from Canada's oil sands to refineries in the United States.
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