Kerry: Canadian vote won't change Keystone review

Greg Nash

A new government coming to power in Canada does not change how the Obama administration is handling the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryBudowsky: Save Europe, revote Brexit White House: We were prepared for Brexit vote After Brexit vote, is anything left of Britain? MORE said Tuesday.

Kerry made the declaration the morning after Justin Trudeau was tapped to become Canada’s next prime minister, since the Liberal Party he leads won a majority of Parliament seats in the election.

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Trudeau, like outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper, supports the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, but he is unlikely to put as much of the government’s support and resources into lobbying the Obama administration for it.

Kerry told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell that the new regime will have no impact on how the State Department reviews TransCanada Corp.’s application to build Keystone XL.

“The decision on Keystone is being based on the merits and countervailing balance of all the input that has come from a very exhaustive agency review,” Kerry told Mitchell at a forum hosted by the State Department, after she asked about possible changes to the equation surrounding Keystone.

“I have said again and again, I want to get that done as fast as possible and that is very true.”

Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has criticized Harper for the degree to which his support for Keystone and for Canada’s oil sands industry has strained relationships with other countries, including the United States.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Harper has narrowed the entire relationship with the United States to a single point around the Keystone XL pipeline, and he went to New York and criticized and harangued the president,” Trudeau said during a recent debate.

Trudeau could also take some steps toward improving Canada’s climate policies, after castigating Harper for making a mockery of Canada on the world stage for weakness on climate, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.