Premier Brad Wall sent a joint letter with 10 U.S. governors pushing for President Barack Obama to approve TransCanada’s revised application for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The pipeline would carry oil from Alberta to the southern states. It would run through southwest Saskatchewan near Shaunavon.
Both the premier and officials in Shaunavon have expressed support for the project and the potential economic spin-off that could come from it.
The letter states: “The pipeline project is expected to create thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs and generate tax revenues and significant business activity in local economies along the pipeline route.”
Obama rejected the first proposal from TransCanada citing environmental concerns in some sections of the route. He is expected to make a decision on the new proposal sometime in the next few months.
Some media have noted the omission of Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman from the letter. Redford has been a long-time advocate of the pipeline, while Heineman’s state is where the route had to be redrawn to circumvent the ecologically sensitive area of the state’s Ogallala Aquifer.
In the letter, the premier and the governors note the pipeline is “fundamentally important to the future economic prosperity of both the United States and Canada”.
“As legislators and decision-makers, we felt it imperative to speak up for a project that will contribute greatly to a safe, secure and long-term energy supply for North America,” Wall said. “We need greater pipeline capacity to move the oil – Canadian and American – that is vital to our shared goal of North American energy security.”
Wall and the governors say the pipeline is crucial to U.S. energy security, with U.S. oil imports from Canada potentially reaching four million barrels a day by 2020, twice what is currently imported from the Persian Gulf. They also cite the pipeline as critical infrastructure that would move growing American conventional oil production from the Bakken Formation to market, thus easing pipeline capacity for all jurisdictions that share this dynamic oil play, including Saskatchewan, North Dakota and Montana.