OTTAWA – Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says he sees no need to change anything about Canada’s environmental protections in order to persuade Americans to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
That’s despite a recent letter from the U.S.-based Environmental Protection Agency suggesting Ottawa needs to step up its game.
Oliver is on his fourth pipeline road show through the United States this week, touting the energy benefits and environmental stewardship that Canada would bring to the table if U.S. authorities give the pipeline their blessings.
Oliver says the agency is only one of many voices on the Keystone file, and it is the pipeline-friendly State Department that has the lead, rather than the EPA.
He says he agrees with State Department analysis that considers the Keystone proposal a safe way to transport bitumen from Canada’s oilsands without driving up greenhouse gas emissions, compared to other types of imported oil.
But critics say the agency is sending a message that Canada has to act more aggressively to control emissions, and approval of the pipeline is at stake.