Amid Keystone fight, Canadian official defends climate comments

The remarks come roughly a week after Oliver, who lobbying for U.S. approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, told the publication La Presse that scientists now believe fears of climate change have been “exaggerated.”

He also told La Presse that “people aren't as worried as they were before about global warming of two degrees [Celsius],” according to press accounts.

The comments arrive as Oliver and other Canadian officials are strongly urging the White House to approve Keystone, which would bring oil from Alberta’s oil sands projects across the border en route to Gulf Coast refineries.

Opponents of the pipeline were quick to flag his comments to La Presse. But Oilver said he did not expect the comments to affect the chances that the White House will approve Keystone, according to PostMedia.

Oliver is slated to visit Washington, D.C. next week as Canadian officials continue to press their case on Keystone.