Canada's ambassador suspects Obama will approve Keystone if he applies 'rational reasoning'

Gary Doer, Canada's ambassador to the U.S



OTTAWA - President Barack Obama will approve the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline proposal if he applies "rational reasoning," Canada's ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer said.

"He's a rational, logical person. I believe that the rationale for having Canadian oil and North Dakota and Montana oil going on a pipeline instead of on trucks and trains to the Gulf Coast is logical," Doer said in a weekend interview with Platts Energy Week TV.

Doer, a former NDP premier of Manitoba, also slammed the U.S. media for its Keystone coverage.

"Twenty people protesting do get more attention in the media than the 65% of Americans that prefer to get their oil from Canada rather than Venezuela or the Middle East," Doer said. "When you look at it, public opinion supports it."

The Canadian government hopes the U.S. administration will "do the right thing" and approve $7 billion pipeline proposal, which would ship Alberta crude to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Thousands of anti-pipeline protesters gathered in Washington, D.C., on Sunday to urge Obama to reject the proposal. The administration is expected to make a decision by spring.

In his State of the Union address last Wednesday, Obama vowed action on climate change, leaving environmental activists hopeful he will nix Keystone.

Meanwhile, Canada is touting its own climate change efforts.

"Canada has aligned its goals on greenhouse gas emissions with the United States," said Chris McCluskey, a spokesman for Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver. "In some cases, such as (closing) coal-fired electricity plants, we have gone further than the United States."

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