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Warren Buffett slams Keystone delay

Billionaire investor and President Obama fundraiser Warren Buffett disagreed Monday with the president’s delay in reviewing the Keystone XL pipeline, saying it amounts to the United States thumbing its nose at Canada.

“I would have passed Keystone,” Buffett told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in advance of the 50th annual shareholder meeting for Berkshire Hathaway, which he founded. “I think that we have an enormous interest in working with Canada.”

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While not directly calling out Obama, Buffett made it clear that he disagreed with the way the federal government is currently handling TransCanada Corp.’s application for the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, which it filed more than six years ago.

“That is a valuable resource of North America and Canada’s been a terrific partner over the decades,” he said.”And for us to kind of thumb our nose at them, you know, not what I would do.”

Buffett supports the pipeline despite Berkshire Hathaway’s ownership of BNSF Railway, which also carries crude oil and therefore competes against pipelines.

Buffett’s comments came less than a week after Obama vetoed a bill that would have forced approval of Keystone.

Obama said that the bill would disrupt the current practice that gives the executive branch exclusive authority to review cross-border pipeline applications to determine whether they would be in the “national interest,” a process that the Obama administration is still conducting.

Buffett has supported Keystone since at least 2012.