CALGARY - Alberta Premier Alison Redford says her trip to Washington to promote a proposed cross-border oil pipeline isn't intended to interfere with a U.S. government review of the project.
Redford said Tuesday she respects that Americans need to make their own decision on TransCanada Corp.'s (TSX:TRP) Keystone XL pipeline.
The U.S. State Department's inspector general recently ordered a review of how the approval for the pipeline was handled. Redford described it as an "internal domestic process" for the United States.
"That is not a process that the government of Alberta is going to intervene in," Redford said. "It would be the same as if we had a process in place here and had American legislators coming up and telling us what to do."
Redford said she doesn't intend to lobby decision-makers when she visits Washington on Monday. But she does plan to tell politicians how much Alberta believes in the pipeline and will outline the province's existing rules and environmental standards.
The proposed line would carry crude from Alberta's oilsands across six states and down to refineries in Texas. The project has prompted protests in both the U.S. and Canada.
A U.S. government spokesperson in Washington said the State Department welcomes the probe into the pipeline approval.
"The department considers it an opportunity for an impartial assessment," said Victoria Nuland.
"We are confident that this assessment will bear out that we have conducted the Keystone pipeline review process consistently with existing U.S. law and regulations, and we will be co-operating fully with the office of the inspector general."
Congressional lawmakers requested the review amid allegations of a pro-pipeline bias within the State Department. Officials had expected a final decision on the $7-billion project by the end of the year, but the review could cause a delay.
Copyright 2011 The Canadian Press. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published November 8, 2011, in The Canadian Press.)