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T. Boone Pickens apologizes to Canadians for Keystone

03/15/2015 04:07 EDT | Updated 05/15/2015 05:59 EDT
T. Boone Pickens wants Canadians to know Americans are sorry for the long delays on the road to building the Keystone XL Pipeline.

"To my friends in Calgary and across Canada: I apologize on behalf of my fellow Americans for the United States government’s actions," the Texas billionaire wrote a letter to the Calgary Herald on Friday.

On As It Happens this weekend, Pickens, the chair of the hedge fund BP Capital Management, spoke to host Carol Off about his motivations for writing the letter.

"I'm embarrassed about my own president here, I can't believe what he's doing," he said. "I just hope that Canadians are going to remain patient until we can get rid of him and make a deal with you for the Keystone pipeline."

On Feb. 24, U.S. President Barack Obama vetoed a bill passed by Congress that would have approved construction of the pipeline.

"He doesn't want the pipeline, it's passed Congress and he vetoed it and he doesn't want it," Pickens said.

"I think he's playing to his environmental buddies but I'm not sure what his motives are and I'm suspicious that it's not in the best interest of Americans."

Obama has said he has an "open mind" in regards to the pipeline and could approve the bill once a State Department report on whether the pipeline is in the nation's best interests is complete.

Presidential veto

"I am returning here without my approval … the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act," the president said in a letter to the U.S. Senate notifying it of the veto. "Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent long-standing and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest."

Pickens doesn't believe Obama's rationale to be the truth.

"I think he's dishonest. When he says the State Department, that's just silly I mean, that's not the case."

Pickens once spoke of helping the U.S. get itself off imported oil and make the U.S independent through the development of natural gas and renewable energy resources. "The "Pickens Plan" involved building wind farms across the U.S.. Now, he says that plan isn't economically viable at the moment.

"For now, importing from OPEC is at the lowest level we've been at in the last 20 years."

"So, someday, wind again. But right now, you're going to go for the cheapest energy you can get," he said.

In his letter, Pickens says he still has hope for the future of Keystone.

"The silver lining is this: Obama’s veto didn’t kill the Keystone XL pipeline. He delayed it. Sooner or later, good planning will trump bad politics and the project will get the green light — we hope."

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