Keystone will be the big focus for Alison Redford when she heads to Washington D.C. over the weekend.
The Alberta Premier has been the target of recent criticism by some who feel she hasn’t done enough to push construction of the new pipeline forward.
Redford is hoping to find new markets for a struggling crude that’s left her government dealing with a massive deficit.
Recent comments though by the American Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson have left some wondering if President Obama is starting to waiver.
Jacobson recently suggested additional comprehensive action from Canada on climate change could pave the way for the XL pipeline.
According to Redford, Alberta has already taken that on board.
“As we move ahead, I think we can be proud of what our record has been in Alberta, the important ties in terms of economics and trade and also what our record has been with respect to sustainable development,” she told reporters in Edmonton.
“It’s not as if any of the comments in the last couple of weeks took us by surprise,” she adds. “This is what we’ve known we’re dealing with, this is important for us to deal with and we are going to take it very seriously.”
Jacobson’s comments aren’t the only ones causing concern.
In his first speech as Secretary of State, John Kerry says the priority for Americans moving forward will be to protect their environment.
It’s Kerry’s State Department that will have the final say on whether the $7 Billion pipeline can go ahead because the infrastructure has to cross an international border.
And then there’s the woman that Obama would like to nominate as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency,
Analysts say Gina McCarthy, whose been known in some circles as “Obama’s green quarterback,” isn’t expected to make it easy for TransCanada to move ahead.
The United States still remains Alberta’s top customer for oil.
Redford plans on meeting with members of the Western Governors Association along with Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger and Canada Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer.
Obama’s administration is expected to render a decision sometime later this spring.