Canada's trade chief made a strong pitch for the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline during a visit to Washington on Thursday.
Ed Fast, Canada's minister for international trade, said the massive Canada-to-Texas pipeline — which American environmentalists have vowed to block — is a "reliable, friendly and environmentally responsible source of oil and gas" that America should embrace.
"When you look at the merits of the case, clearly, the Keystone XL project should be approved," he said during a speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "The strategic value of Canada as a reliable, friendly and environmentally responsible source of oil and gas to the United States cannot be understated, particularly in the light of continuing instability in the Middle East and North Africa."
Mr. Fast, who was in town for meetings with congressional leaders, said the Keystone pipeline would help both Canada and the U.S. add jobs, as well as maintain energy independence.
"The United States does face a choice: It can continue to purchase its oil from countries like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria — countries that do not share Canada's and the United State's values, that do not share our common goals and objectives related to the environment — or the United States can can purchase oil from its most trusted and longest-standing trade partner," he said.
Mr. Obama is under pressure from congressional Republicans, business groups and even labor unions to approve the project.
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