posted on February 25, 2013 16:09
The Hill reports that as the U.S. State Department prepares to rule on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the government of Alberta, Canada, which supports the project, is engaging Washington on the issue of climate change.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Minister of Environment & Sustainable Resource Development Diana McQueen attended the National Governors Association's annual summit in Washington, D.C. the weekend of Feb. 23-24 to press the case that steps are being taken to reduce the environmental impact of mining the province's tar sands, and that the economic benefits outweigh environmental harm.
"Even though we have had a presence here for some time, I don't think we have really communicated as effectively as we need to on this," Redford told The Hill.
The 1,700-mile, Keystone XL project has come to symbolize much more than a pipeline. Almost five years after the project's first step into the regulatory process, Washington is still fighting about its fate. To some, the transcontinental project is an engine for economic growth and its approval would be a sign that Obama is serious about boosting the economy. To others, green-lighting the pipeline means game-over for combating global warming because the project would carry carbon-heavy tar sands. A final decision on the project could slip into the latter half of 2013.
Redford, for her part, says she is “optimistic” that Keystone will be approved. She plans to keep talking to officials in the U.S. – and doesn’t intend to rely only on official and ceremonial visits.
“… There are two ways to build relationships with people. I think one is to plan a trip six months in advance and organize three days of meetings… and exchange briefing notes that officials have drafted… Or you can actually just come down and renew relationships with people and talk about, at a political level, what your common interests are...” Redford said.