CALGARY — Calgary’s mayor says both government and the oil industry have dropped the ball when it comes to promoting TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Naheed Nenshi recently returned from a world economic forum in Switzerland.
He says discussions about the project made it clear to him that Canada has not done a good enough job of winning over global leaders.
Nenshi says he has become an advocate of the pipeline because Calgary-based TransCanada’s (TSX:TRP) project is key to his city’s economy.
The $7.6-billion pipeline would carry bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Environmental groups have put enormous pressure on the U.S. government not to approve Keystone.
Nenshi says the case in favour of the pipeline is complex and Canada needs to do a better job at promoting it.
“I think it’s a terrible shame that this one-metre-in-diameter pipeline is being asked to carry all of the sins of the carbon economy,” Nenshi said. “In fact, I think that some of the protests against the pipeline are deeply misdirected.”
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says it welcomes Nenshi’s support.
“I am very pleased to have the mayor be an advocate for it. He is going to be having important conversations with important people,” said spokesman Travis Davies.
But Davies appears to disagree with Nenshi on one point:
“I think industry and governments a have been very active in making the case for this project.”
The state of Nebraska recently dropped its opposition to Keystone after the governor said he would allow the pipeline to travel through the state along a revised path. The project’s fate is now with the U.S. State Department.