Canada's envoy to Washington urged U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday to approve the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying he wants to "correct the myths" about the controversial project.
Ambassador Gary Doer met in the U.S. Capitol with two senators -- one Democrat, one Republican -- who support the pipeline that would transport Alberta oil sands crude to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Doer said environmental studies, along with Obama's own criteria for a pipeline, "would allow and require the president, notwithstanding symbolism, to go with science and facts."
"Our job is to correct the facts and correct the myths that are established," he said in support of the pipeline.
The project by builder TransCanada has been under review for more than six years. Republicans, now in full control of Congress, are eager to speed the process by passing legislation authorizing Keystone's construction.
The House of Representatives has already passed such a Keystone measure, and the Senate is currently debating it.
Obama has warned he would veto such a bill, and Republicans appear short of the necessary votes to override such presidential action.
The State Department concluded in its environmental impact statement last January that Keystone would likely not have significant effects on global greenhouse gas emissions.
"I heard him at the State of the Union talk about science," Doer said, referring to Obama's Tuesday speech.
"Hallelujah! Bring on the science, because the science is in the State Department report," he added.
Doer noted that transporting oil by pipeline is cheaper and safer than by rail or road. He also downplayed the prospect that the clash over Keystone might bruise ties between the U.S. and Canada.
The State Department said it maintained a dialogue with Canadian officials regarding the pipeline. U.S. agencies have until Feb. 2 to weigh in on whether Keystone is in the national interest.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015