Expect nothing new on Keystone pipeline, Harper told
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will likely hear nothing new on the Keystone XL pipeline from U.S. President Barack Obama when the two leaders meet next week during the North American Leaders' Summit in Mexico, a White House official said Friday.
The official said during a media briefing that there is little chance Obama will tell Harper anything that the president hasn't already told reporters.
"I don't think that we will be introducing any new element or timeline to the decision," the official said. "Frankly, the message that (Obama) will be delivering is quite similar to the one you've heard from us publicly."
The $7 billion Keystone pipeline would carry crude from Alberta, Montana and North Dakota to the Texas Gulf Coast. The project is undergoing a 90-day review that was triggered at the end of January when the U.S. State Department gave the project a favourable environmental assessment.
The White House said the project needs to be reviewed by Secretary of State John Kerry as well as other U.S. agencies before the president makes the final decision.
U.S. Republicans have been pushing hard to get Obama to approve the project, and critics claim the president has delayed the decision to appease environmental groups, which are strongly opposed to the pipeline.
Obama and Harper will likely get time alone during the Feb. 19 conference, which will also be attended by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
"We would fully expect that Canada would continue to express its desire to see the process resolved, but it will run its course," the White House official said.