Canadian province loses pro-Keystone leaders

Canadian province loses pro-Keystone leaders
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Voters in Alberta, Canada, have elected into leadership a political party and premier that will not lobby in support of Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

Tuesday’s provincial election took out of power the right-leaning Progressive Conservatives, who have long been strong supporters of Alberta’s oil industry and their priorities, including Keystone.

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The New Democratic Party, led by Premier-elect Rachel Notley, will bring an end to 44 years of rule by the Progressive Conservatives, according to the Financial Post. Leaders are expected to be much less friendly to Alberta’s oil industry and its priorities, including the controversial and long-delayed Keystone.

Outgoing Premier Jim Prentice and his party have taken it upon themselves to lobby Canada and the Obama administration in support of Keystone, which would bring oil sands mined in Alberta to refineries on the United States’ Gulf Coast.

In one case, the province, under Prentice’s leadership, hired a U.S.-based company to conduct public relations work to “neutralize” environmental opposition to Keystone.

Notley, by contrast, has promised to stop lobbying on Keystone. She also opposes the Northern Gateway pipeline, a proposed project to bring oil sands to Canada’s Pacific Coast, the Financial Post reported.

She has also pledged to review whether Alberta is taking sufficient fees and royalties from the oil industry, strengthen the province’s climate change policies, phase out coal-fired power plants more quickly and increase taxes for large emitters of greenhouse gases.