01/31/2014 04:26 EST | Updated 01/31/2014 04:59 EST

Tories Release Pro-Keystone Ad Minutes After State Dept. Report (VIDEO)

The Conservative Party of Canada released a new ad in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline just minutes after the U.S. State Department issued a report that appears to bode well for the approval of the project.

The ad slams "American billionaires" who allegedly use their wealth to lobby against the pipeline which would transport oil from the Alberta oilsands to refineries in the United States.

The dig is seemingly a reference to an anti-Keystone ad that ran during U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday. That commercial was paid for by NextGen Climate Group, led by the deep-pocketed Obama donor and bitter oilsands foe Tom Steyer.

The rest of the new ad makes the well-established Conservative Party arguments that Keystone is a better option for the United States than oil from other less-democratic foreign powers and that it will not have a significant effect on greenhouse gas emissions.

The long-delayed pipeline cleared a major hurdle Friday as the State Department raised no major environmental objections to the project.

The department report stops short of recommending approval of the $7 billion pipeline, which has become a major symbol of the political debate over climate change. But the review gives Obama new cover if he chooses to endorse the pipeline in spite of opposition from many Democrats and environmental groups. Foes say the pipeline would carry "dirty oil" that contributes to global warming. They also worry about a spill.

Republicans and business and labour groups have urged Obama to approve the pipeline to create thousands of jobs and move toward North American energy independence.

With files from The Canadian Press

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