Canada PM not hopeful that Obama will approve Keystone pipeline

Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:01pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Wednesday he was not hopeful that the United States would approve the northern leg of TransCanada Corp's (TRP.TO: Quote) controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Harper also told Bloomberg Television that if President Barack Obama did veto the project, which is currently under review, he was confident a future U.S. administration would grant approval.

The U.S. government - under pressure from environmentalists to block the pipeline - has repeatedly delayed a decision on Keystone XL, which would take crude from Canada's tar sands to U.S. refineries.

"A positive decision has not been rendered for a very long time and that's obviously not a hopeful sign," Harper said, referring to what he called "the very peculiar politics of this particular administration."

Harper has long publicly backed the pipeline and in 2011 called it "a no-brainer." The White House on Wednesday declined to provide an update on the review, which has been delayed for more than six years.

Harper also said that while Ottawa was concerned about high levels of domestic consumer debt, "we don't believe there's any data that suggests any kind of a pending crisis there."

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chris Reese and Dan Grebler)

 
A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota November 14, 2014.   REUTERS/Andrew Cullen