November 13, 2014 8:08 pm

Prentice cautiously optimistic as Keystone faces key U.S. House vote

This May 24, 2012 file photo shows some of about 500 miles worth of coated steel pipe manufactured by Welspun Pipes, Inc., originally for the Keystone oil pipeline, stored in Little Rock, Ark. There are new threats of lawsuits against Canadian oil pipeline projects in the United States.


EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says he is encouraged there appears to be increasing bipartisan support in the United States for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Prentice says he remains cautiously optimistic about the pipeline’s future as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the project Friday.

If approved, a bill on TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone proposal would move to the Senate and then to U.S. President Barack Obama.

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The $8-billion (USD) line would take bitumen from Alberta diagonally across the continent to refineries and ports in Texas.

WATCH: Obama likely to block any Keystone XL pipeline measures from Congress 

Prentice has said getting Alberta oil to coastal ports is crucial to growing the provincial and Canadian economies.

The line has been tied up in the approval process for six years and has faced stiff opposition from environmentalists.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says lobbying in the U.S. to approve the Keystone XL pipeline appears to be paying off.

The premier says he has met with and spoken to many of the senators who will vote on the bill.

“We’ve been getting three times a day reports from the province’s agent in Washington about the status of a super majority, in other words, the 60 votes in the senate you would need, not just
the bare majority of 51, and many of these senators are ones we’ve met with,” Wall said Thursday.

Wall, who supports the project, says Obama would hurt the Democrats if he vetoes the bill if it passes.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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