REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says today’s announcement about the United States’ rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is “very disappointing” for the province’s energy sector and for Canada-U.S. relations.
In a statement, Wall said that “Given the facts of the project as canvassed by the US State Department, this decision is more about US domestic politics than it is about good environment policy.”
Wall stressed that oil will move with or without pipelines, pointing out that “in 2008, there were 9500 rail carloads of oil shipped in the US. By 2014, that number had jumped to 493,000 – over 50 times as many.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said he was “disappointed” by the decision but respects the right of the U.S. to make the decision.
READ MORE: Trudeau ‘disappointed’ with Obama’s decision to reject Keystone XL pipeline
“The Canada-U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project and I look forward to a fresh start with President Obama to strengthen our remarkable ties in a spirit of friendship and co-operation,” Trudeau said.
“We know that Canadians want a government that they can trust to protect the environment and grow the economy. The Government of Canada will work hand-in-hand with provinces, territories and like-minded countries to combat climate change, adapt to its impacts, and create the clean jobs of tomorrow.”
However, Greenpeace claimed the veto should send a message to Trudeau.
“President Obama just sent a message that Prime Minister Trudeau should heed: you can’t be a climate leader while supporting tar sands pipelines,” said Mike Hudema.
“Public opposition to Energy East and other tar sands pipelines gets stronger by the day and any reasonable climate plan is doomed to failure if the booming emissions from the tar sands aren’t reigned in.
“The prime minister needs to follow the president’s lead and recognize that science demands and the public wants action on climate change and that can’t be done while expanding the tar sands. Prime Minister Trudeau has a huge opportunity to lead the transition to diversify Canada’s economy, reduce its emissions and lead the green transition.”
U.S. President Barack Obama has formally rejected an application from TransCanada to build the Keystone XL, ending seven years of debate over the controversial project.
Obama made the announcement Friday alongside Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden during a press conference at the White House.
The news comes after Washington formally denied a request on Wednesday to pause the review of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. The request from TransCanada was seen by many as an attempt to postpone the decision until after the presidential election in 2016.
with files from Emily Mertz