The Saskatchewan government is responding to the future of the Keystone XL pipeline after US Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton came out in opposition against the project.
On Tuesday, Clinton – considered to be the frontrunner in the race for president – announced she’s against the massive pipeline, which would ship Western Canadian oil to Texas.
The provincial government has long been in support of the project. Economy Minister Bill Boyd made an official statement Wednesday:
“I’m disappointed, but not surprised, by Hillary Clinton’s stated opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Like President Obama, Mrs. Clinton is apparently more interested in appeasing certain environmental groups and the celebrity critics of fossil fuels than putting forth sound energy policy.
Mrs. Clinton likely knows that opposing Keystone will hinder, but not stop, Canadian oil exports to the United States, including exports of bitumen from the oil sands.
In fact, a record amount of Canadian oil is now moving to the United States by rail. In 2010, 42,000 barrels of Canadian oil was shipped to the U.S. by rail, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In 2014, shipments rose to 42 million barrels – a 100,000 per cent increase.
The increase in oil shipments was noted in the U.S. State Department’s environment review of Keystone, which concluded that blocking the pipeline would not have a significant impact on overall greenhouse gas emissions and oil sands expansion because Canada’s oil will find its way to market.
Critics of Keystone will have to explain why they prefer oil to move by rail, where spills are four and a half times more likely to occur, rather than pipelines.
While the rejection of Keystone seems likely, the Government of Saskatchewan will continue to advocate for an expansion of pipeline capacity to move Western Canadian oil to tidewater.
We believe projects like Energy East and Northern Gateway will strengthen Canada by creating thousands of jobs across the country, generating billions of dollars in revenue for governments, and displacing oil exports from countries with dubious human rights records and weak environmental regulations.
Like the railways more than a century ago, pipelines are instruments of nation building. It’s time we got on with the business of building this great nation.”