Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says U.S. President Barack Obama's rejection of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline proposal was disappointing, although not surprising.
Obama made the announcement Friday. He said he had called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier that day to confirm the decision.
"Though I am not surprised by the news coming from the White House this morning, as we have anticipated this announcement for some time, I am disappointed by the way the U.S. government chose to characterize our energy exports," said Notley.
"The decision today underlines the need to improve our environmental record, enhance our reputation, so that we can achieve our goal of building Canada’s energy infrastructure — including pipelines — to new markets."
Secretary of State John Kerry referred to Alberta's oilsands as "one of the dirtiest sources of fuel on the planet" in a statement on the decision.
"The fact of the matter is, is that the U.S. relies on our oil," said Notley, adding that the U.S. imports over three million barrels from Canada each day.
The announcement ends a seven-year-long saga between environmentalists and proponents of the pipeline's economic benefits.
The proposed pipeline would have stretched from Hardisty, Alta. to refineries in Illinois and Texas. TransCanada says it had the capacity to carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day.
Notley said she hopes future politicians will be able to have "drama-free" discussions about pipelines, as they can be a safer method of transportation than rail.
After this decision, Notley says that government intends to push more heavily for both a better environmental record for the province, and for a transportation solution for the province's oil.
"We need to get a pipeline to tidewater," she said.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi also expressed disappointment over the pipeline's rejection, suggesting the White House used it as a economic and political scapegoat.
"I am very disappointed that one pipe, nearly a metre wide, is being asked to bear all the sins of the carbon economy," Nenshi said in a statement. "Nonetheless, Canadian energy must have access to markets, and I will continue to partner with industry and other orders of government to advocate for other alternatives, of which there remain many viable options."
He promised to work with industry and government to advocate for "many" viable energy export alternatives.
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