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Canada's Trudeau Expresses Disappointment In U.S. Decision On Keystone XL

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Canada's Trudeau Expresses Disappointment In U.S. Decision On Keystone XL

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Canada's Trudeau Expresses Disappointment In U.S. Decision On Keystone XL

Canada's Trudeau Expresses Disappointment In U.S. Decision On Keystone XL

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/455049054/455049055" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Canadian Company TransCanada took a blow Friday when President Obama announced he was rejecting its request to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would have helped transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of Canadian tar sands oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed disappointment.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

We'll hear about that from NPR's Jeff Brady who is in Fort Saskatchewan. It's an oil town in Alberta. Welcome to the program.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Thank you.

MCEVERS: And Jeff, how are people there reacting to this decision from the Obama administration?

BRADY: Well, just after the announcement, I chatted with a few people at a grocery store parking lot, and every single one of them said they were very disappointed. A lot of people here work in the oil business, and they said this pipeline would've meant more jobs, and that's how people here see the Canadian oil industry - as a job machine. President Obama, in his announcement, he called the oil that comes from Alberta's oil sands region dirty referring to the extra pollution created when it's produced. Alberta premier Rachel Notley responded to that remark directly today.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RACHEL NOTLEY: I am disappointed by the way the U.S. government chose to characterize our energy exports. The decision today underlines the need to improve our environmental record, enhance our reputation so that we can achieve our goal of building Canada's energy infrastructure, including pipelines, to new markets.

BRADY: And as you mentioned, Prime Minister Trudeau also said he's disappointed, but he also said he looks forward to a fresh start with President Obama.

MCEVERS: So that's what people and politicians are saying. What about the folks in the industry there in Alberta? What are they saying?

BRADY: Sure. The industry is clearly disappointed. This was a long battle. TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline - it's already invested more than $2 billion in this project. The company says it's looking at its options now. Shell Oil also has a big investment in Alberta's oil sands. It has a new carbon capture and storage project here in Fort Saskatchewan. The company was showing it off today when the news broke. And Shell executive vice president Lorraine Mitchelmore tried to kind of downplay the significance of losing Keystone XL specifically. She says Shell is able to get the oil her company is producing out of Alberta and get it out onto the market. The problem here is the future, though. For the oil sands business to grow, it needs more pipelines. In fact, Shell recently canceled a big oil sands project called Carmon Creek, and one of the reasons the company gave was the lack of pipelines.

MCEVERS: That's NPR's Jeff Brady joining us from Fort Saskatchewan in Alberta. Thanks so much.

BRADY: Thank you.

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