Canada ‘won't take no for answer’ on US pipeline
Canada's prime minister says he "won't take no for an answer" if the Obama administration rejects the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to the US Gulf coast.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the Keystone XL project, a flashpoint in the debate over climate change, during a visit to New York. The long-delayed project carrying oil from Canada's oil sands needs approval from the US State Department, and Harper's remarks are some of his strongest to date.
"My view is that you don't take no for an answer," he said. "We haven't had that but if we were to get that it won't be final. This won't be final until it's approved and we will keep pushing forward."
Harper, who made the remarks at a Canadian American Business Council event, said he had been in regular contact with President Barack Obama. Harper said it would create 40,000 jobs in the US.
"The logic behind this project is simply overwhelming," he said.
Harper said politics had cast doubt on whether the pipeline would be approved.
"Ultimately, over time, bad politics make bad policy," he said. "The president has always assured me that he will make a decision that's in what he believes is in the best interests of the United States based on the facts. I think the facts are clear."
The Obama administration is considering the pipeline, which would carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta across six US states to the Texas Gulf coast. A decision is due late this year or early next year.
Republicans, and business and labour groups, have urged the administration to approve the pipeline as a source of much-needed jobs and a step towards North American energy independence.
Environmental groups want the pipeline rejected, saying it would carry "dirty oil" that contributed to global warming. They also worry about a spill.