Canada’s newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that he is disappointed with US President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline proposal, but stated that US-Canada relations are “bigger” than one polemical pipeline.
"The Canada-US relationship is much bigger than any one project and I look forward to a fresh start with President Obama to strengthen our remarkable ties in a spirit of friendship and cooperation," Trudeau said in a statement.
"We are disappointed by the decision, but respect the right of the United States to make the decision."
Trudeau became prime minister in Canada this week, substituting conservative former Prime Minister Stephen Harper who had strongly worked on the Alberta-Nebraska pipeline project.
On Friday, Obama said he is rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline project since it "would not serve the interests of the United States."
"While our politics have been consumed with whether this pipeline would increase jobs and lower gas prices, we have increased jobs and lowered gas prices," Obama indicated.
Trudeau’s Liberal Party supports the Keystone project, but during the election campaign his party clearly underlined it wouldn’t be an indispensable high priority for its government.
“We know that Canadians want a government that they can trust to protect the environment and grow the economy,” Trudeau stated on Friday.
“The Government of Canada will work hand-in-hand with provinces, territories and like-minded countries to combat climate change, adapt to its impacts, and create the clean jobs of tomorrow.”
The new prime minister is expected to come together with Obama in Turkey during the G20 summit on November 15-16.
"So sad that Obama rejected Keystone Pipeline," GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump said over Twitter. "Thousands of jobs, good for the environment, no downside!"
So sad that Obama rejected Keystone Pipeline. Thousands of jobs, good for the environment, no downside!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 6 Kasım 2015
Meanwhile, Former Conservative Defense Minister Jason Kenney criticised Obama on social media, “How is it in the interests of the United States to buy oil from problematic Middle Eastern regimes & Venezuela, rather than friendly Canada?”
How is it in the interests of the United States to buy oil from problematic Middle Eastern regimes & Venezuela, rather than friendly Canada?
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) 6 Kasım 2015
The fact that Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was a strong proponent of the project. However, his successor Justin Trudeau is less persistent than Harper on the issue, although he is also a supporter of the pipeline.
The Keystone XL pipeline project was first submitted more than six years ago ,but then it stagnated. The project is awaiting a permit required by the federal government because the pipeline would pass an international boundary.
The 1,200-mile (2,000-km) pipeline would carry heavy crudes of oil from Alberta to Nebraska and on to Gulf Coast refineries. It also would help link Canada's heavy oil fields to US refineries.
The Keystone XL would send more than 800,000 barrels a day of mostly Canadian oil to Nebraska. The oil would go through to refineries and ports along the US Gulf Coast from there.