July 4, 2020 / 1:03 AM / a month ago

Alberta looking for U.S. Democratic support of TC Energy's Keystone XL pipeline -premier

July 3 (Reuters) - Construction of TC Energy Corp’s oil pipeline project, Keystone XL, has begun in Canada, the premier of the Canadian province of Alberta announced on Friday, saying the government has started talking with U.S. Democratic lawmakers for support.

The pipeline project is supported by U.S. President Donald Trump, but faces opposition from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who has said he would rescind the permit for Keystone XL pipeline if elected.

“We will be reaching out, as we already have... to members of (Biden’s) party, many of whom support the project,” Alberta premier Jason Kenney told reporters on Friday.

He said labour unions with close connections to Biden’s party, trade unions, steel workers and others will be approached for support of the project.

Construction of the pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest, has been delayed for more than a decade by opposition from landowners, environmental groups and tribes.

“If there is a change of administration next January, there will have been very substantial progress on this project in three U.S. states, across the Canada-U.S. border as well as north of the border,” Kenney added.

The project has suffered various setbacks including the ruling by a U.S. court on April 15 against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ use of a permit that allows new energy pipelines to cross water bodies.

Earlier this year, Alberta had said it would invest $1.1 billion in Keystone XL and back TC Energy’s $4.2 billion credit facility.

Alberta, home of the world’s third-largest oil reserves, has had to deal for years with weakened prices due to congested pipelines, and has had to curtail oil production. (Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Chris Reese)

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