|Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford (right), who met with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (left) last week in Ottawa, said the conflict with Russia has prompted discussions among the U.S. and its allies on how to ship more crude and natural gas to Ukraine as well as Europe.|
Canadian Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford said a growing focus by the U.S. on energy security amid the Ukraine conflict is bolstering the case for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Rickford, who met with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz last week in Ottawa, said the conflict with Russia has prompted discussions among the U.S. and its allies on how to ship more crude and natural gas to Ukraine as well as Europe.
“Energy security has not just crept into the dialogue, it’s actually been an essential part of every exercise we do in the context of trade and foreign affairs – North American energy security and global security,” Rickford said in a telephone interview today from Ottawa. “Take a look at Ukraine.”
TransCanada Corp’s $5.4 billion Keystone route would link Canada’s oil sands to refineries along the Gulf Coast, broadening access to global markets for the world’s third- largest crude reserves.
The State Department is reviewing the project, which was first proposed in 2008 and requires President Barack Obama’s approval.
This has never been and will never be a question of if, it’s a question of when
“I’m an optimist,” said Rickford, adding that he made the case for Keystone in his discussions with Moniz. “This has never been and will never be a question of if, it’s a question of when.”
Canada is regularly asked by countries, including the U.S., when new pipelines will be ready to ship crude and natural gas to the continent’s coasts, Rickford said. Canadian crude producers have said expanding pipeline capacity is essential to move growing output from the landlocked oil sands to market.
Environmentalists have tried to stall projects such as Keystone XL and Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway route, arguing they would increase carbon emissions and the risk of spills.