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Canada, U.S. Pursue ‘Joint Interest’ in Getting Pipelines Built

Department of Energy/Flickr

Canada has opened discussions with the Trump administration to find a path forward for oil pipeline projects, Bloomberg News is reporting this week, citing a Globe and Mail interview with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan.

“He’s somebody who’s been in the energy business and with the energy department for quite some time,” O’Regan said [1] of his U.S. counterpart, Energy Secretary and avid fossil enthusiast [2] Dan Brouillette. “He does have that understanding, so we do have conversations to make sure our joint interests are met.”

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“The Canadian federal government is advocating for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to continue,” Bloomberg writes, citing the Globe. “It’s also pushing for movement on the Line 3 replacement pipeline project between the two countries, which is awaiting final approval for the construction to start on the U.S. side.”

But it may take more than a friendly chat between two cabinet ministers, one of whom may well be out of office [4] in another 174 days, to deliver on that agenda. Brouillette’s boss, Donald Trump, has spent much of the last four years trying to get new fossil infrastructure built. That effort culminated three weeks ago with a whirlwind of court or business decisions against the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Atlantic Coast pipelines, prompting U.S. campaigners to declare “a turning point in their war against the Trump administration’s effort to cement a fossil-fueled future for the United States,” InsideClimate News wrote [5] at the time.

“More than 10 years after it was proposed, Keystone XL is as far as it’s ever been from being completed,” said U.S. Sierra Club Senior Attorney Doug Hayes, responding to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sustained a lower court judgement delaying the project. “We’re glad to see the court acknowledge that the Trump administration is not above the law and cannot just ignore critical environmental protections in pursuit of building this dangerous tar sands pipeline.”

With the U.S. election just 96 days away, and Trump trailing badly in national polls and virtually all the swing states [6] on the country’s electoral map, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has pledged [7] to cancel Keystone, though Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says [8] he can be persuaded otherwise.