UPDATE 2-Harper offers Obama emissions deal to win Keystone -CBC

Fri Sep 6, 2013 5:22pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

OTTAWA, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, trying to win U.S. backing for the Keystone XL pipeline, has sent a letter to President Barack Obama proposing joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector, CBC News said on Friday.

The White House has not responded to the letter, which was sent in late August, CBC said, although Harper met Obama briefly during the just-ended G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Obama has the final say over whether to let the pipeline cross from Canada into the United States and has said he would only approve it if it "does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution".

The $5.3 billion pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels per day and stretch from the tar sands of northern Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, is being proposed by TransCanada Corp .

Canada's Conservative government is actively pushing development of pipelines to move oil sands crude to new markets. Green groups oppose Keystone XL because they say it will encourage expansion of production in the oil sands, which is carbon-intensive.

Harper's office told Reuters it would not comment on correspondence between leaders, but said Harper raises Keystone with Obama every time he speaks with him.

"The Keystone project is in both countries' national interests and will create jobs and economic growth on both sides of the border while increasing North American energy security," Harper spokesman Stephen Lecce said, repeating the government's traditional line.

"Canada and the U.S. have integrated economies and oil and gas sectors, which underscores the importance of continuing to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Lecce added.   Continued...