01/06/2015 07:23 EST | Updated 03/08/2015 05:59 EDT

Jim Prentice Plans Washington Trip To Lobby For Keystone XL

EDMONTON - Alberta's premier remains hopeful about the Keystone XL pipeline despite word that U.S. President Barack Obama may veto the project.

Jim Prentice says there is broad public and political support in the United States for the pipeline that would carry Alberta bitumen to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Prentice says he will travel to Washington within the next month to let people know that Keystone is in the best interests of Canadians and Americans alike.

He says he will also promote the environmental standards of Alberta's oil and natural gas industry, which he says are among the highest in the world.

Calgary-based TransCanada has been waiting more than six years for approval of the pipeline.

A bill that would have forced Obama's hand on Keystone failed to clear Congress in its final days last year, but the new Congress that has convened is Republican-controlled and the pipeline bill is to be among the first issues voted on.

"Alberta is committed to responsible energy development, which firmly positions us as a safe, secure and responsible energy supplier and we will continue to advocate on behalf of Keystone XL," Prentice said in a release Tuesday.

"This Government will continue our efforts to realize the potential of our energy resources and reach out to global markets."

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