Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed Thursday to keep seeking approval for the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline even if President Obama rejects it, according to several reports.
Harper, speaking to a business group in New York, expressed optimism about the project’s chances but also said he wouldn’t consider a “no” from Obama to be the end of the line.
“My view is that you don’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” Harper said at a Canadian American Business Council event, according to Bloomberg and other news outlets.
“We haven’t had that, but if we were to get that, this won’t be final. This won’t be final until it’s approved,” he said of the project that has been under U.S. review for several years.
The Associated Press, covering the same event, reported that “Harper said politics has cast doubt on whether the pipeline will be approved but said he's optimistic it will be approved.”
“Ultimately, over time, bad politics make bad policy,” he said, according to news agency. “The president has always assured me that he will a make decision that's in what he believes is in the best interests of the United States based on the facts. I think the facts are clear.”
The Obama administration is reviewing whether to grant a cross-border permit for TransCanada Corp.’s proposed pipeline.
It would bring oil from Alberta’s oil sands projects across the border and to Gulf Coast refineries. Environmentalists are pressing the White House to reject the project.