Canadian natural resources chief pushes Moniz on Keystone

 

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford met with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz Monday to urge approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and recognize the countries’ energy ties.

The meeting took place in Rome as part of a summit of energy chiefs of the G7 nations, Natural Resources Canada said. Rickford was appointed in March, so it was his first meeting with Moniz.

In a summary of the meeting provided by Natural Resources Canada, Rickford said  he expressed disappointment with the latest delay of the pipeline, which could push a decision for its construction to next year.

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“The building of safe and modern infrastructure, such as Keystone XL, would enhance energy security and create thousands of jobs,” Rickford said. “Diversifying export markets for our energy is a priority for Canada, and we will continue to stress the need to put energy infrastructure in place, in an economically efficient manner.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a similar tone with President Obama the last time the two met in February, saying Canada “won’t take no for an answer” on Keystone. The pipeline is planned to bring oil sands from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Rickford said he and Moniz agree on the need to increase global energy security and on both countries’ support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

Canada is the United States’ largest source of crude oil and uranium, the natural resources ministry said. Electricity exports from Canada to the U.S. more than doubled in 2013 from 2010.

“The Canada-United States energy relationship is the single most important bilateral energy relationship in the world,” Rickford said.