08/08/2012 02:00 EDT | Updated 10/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Republican senator tours the Alberta oilsands

A Republican senator from the United States stated his support for the Alberta oilsands after touring two facilities as a guest of the provincial government on Tuesday.

John Hoeven, a senator from North Dakota, was taken to the Cenovus site at Christina Lake and Syncrude's facility at Mildred Lake.

"I got a chance to see everything. They were open, they're transparent," Hoeven told reporters at an availability with Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk in Edmonton.

"They are working, to not only produce more energy — dependable, reliable energy, our closest friend and ally, Canada, doing a great job producing oil and gas — but they're using the latest, greatest technology to have the best environmental stewardship too.

"And so look, this is a message that we need to get out, not just in Canada but in the United States, that we need to build our energy future together."

Hoeven has sponsored several bills for the U.S. to move ahead with the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. He believes that Canada could play a key role North America's energy independence.

Hoeven worries that delays with Keystone will convince Canada to move ahead with other options, like the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would take crude from the Alberta oilsands to Asian markets.