Saskatchewan leader urges Obama to approve Keystone XL pipeline

Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:33pm EST
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* Brad Wall says project would boost energy security

* 10 U.S. governors sign letter

* Environmental groups warn of climate impact

By Jeffrey Jones

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The premier of Saskatchewan led 10 U.S. state governors on Thursday in urging President Barack Obama to approve TransCanada Corp's contentious and long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline, citing energy-security benefits in both countries.

Saskatchewan does not have the massive oil sands resources that neighboring Alberta does and which would move in large volumes to the southern United States in the proposed $5.3 billion conduit. But it does have some of the Bakken light oil reserves that would also be shipped.

"The energy relationship between the United States and Canada is vital to the future of both our countries. It is an interest we share, transcending political lines and geographic boundaries," Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said in a letter to Obama.

Wall pointed out that U.S. oil imports from Canada could reach 4 million barrels a day in seven years, twice the amount now imported from the Gulf region of the Middle East.

"The Keystone XL Pipeline could also provide the critical infrastructure required to transport growing U.S. domestic production from the Bakken shale region to market," Wall wrote.   Continued...