Politics
Redford, Wall compare energy notes

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, left, and Alberta Premier Alison Redford, right, speak to the media at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, Alberta on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.

Credits: Amber Bracken/Edmonton Sun/QMI A

DAVE LAZZARINO | QMI AGENCY

EDMONTON -- Premier Alison Redford spent some time Wednesday comparing notes with her Saskatchewan counterpart, Premier Brad Wall, in a lead up to his upcoming trip to the U.S.

Among their discussion was the message he hopes to bring concerning Canadian energy -- particularly the benefits of a Keystone XL pipeline.

"This is a message that matters. We're able to talk about it. This is certainly the time to talk about it and I think it's important part of the current conversation," Redford said.

Alberta's energy industry is waiting to see if the U.S. government will approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would ship bitumen from Alberta's north to Texas for upgrading.

Despite increased shale oil production in the U.S. and an increase in diplomatic missions south of the border, neither Redford nor Wall would comment on whether an approval for the pipeline is in jeopardy.

"We are very aware of the fact that a decision is going to be made in the near future and what we're doing in terms of dialogue right now is exactly what we should be doing.

We'll never presuppose the outcome, we'd never take it for granted," she said.

Wall was equally general with his comments but did explain the interest Saskatchewan would have in the pipeline.

Wall said there will be no Saskatchewan oil in the Keystone pipeline but added it will mean about $300 million more for the province in terms of a price differential the export of Canadian bitumen will create.

He also said the differential will mean a $2.5 billion boon for industry.

In terms of environmental impact of oilsands, Wall said the positive work being done in Canada has not been voiced in the U.S.

"We should have been doing more. Everybody has been stepping it up a little bit as we get really close to decisions being made on Keystone," Wall said, adding Saskatchewan's coal-based energy profile makes them comparable to many of the U.S. states with an interest in the pipeline.

Redford said that environmental legacy could use work but is getting better.

Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason later said Canada's record for not reaching carbon capture goals is going to have negative consequences.

"We're in a very weak position if environmental performance is a requirement for Keystone," Mason said.

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