Opposition Leader Objects Keystone XL Pipeline Amid Government’s Effort For US Approval

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | March 14, 2013 8:35 PM EST

While the conservative government is doing all it can to lobby the U.S. government to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, Canadian Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair Wednesday said that the pipeline is not in Canada's interest.

The opposition leader made the comment in Washington, objecting the effort put in by the Canadian government to get the Keystone XL approval from the U.S. President Barrack Obama.

"We would never have made this a priority if we had been a government," Mulcair told reporters Wednesday after a speech at the Wilson Centre, a Washington think-tank, according to the Guardian News paper.

Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall last week made a visit to the United States lobbying the lawmakers and industry leaders in the country.

Alberta Chief Alison Redford last month also visited the United States lobbying the American leaders and propagating the benefits of the pipeline project.

In a draft environment impact statement March 1, the U.S. state department said the Keystone pipeline project would not accelerate the global warming.

"The approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including this proposed project, really remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of development of the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil in the U.S.," said the Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

According to the TransCanada, the company that wants to build the 1,700-mile pipeline, said that the pipeline project would create around 20,000 direct jobs and 120,000 indirect jobs.

The opposition leader's latest comment drew immediate criticism from the natural minister and Alberta chief who accused the leader of working against the interest of the Canadian people.

President Obama will give his decision by July. 

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