Pipeline Update

Toronto, Canada – Canada's PM suggest politics behind pipeline delay

TORONTO (AP) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper strongly suggested Friday that politics was behind the Obama administration's recent decision to delay a proposed oil pipeline from Canada days before he planned to visit the White House.

Harper travels to Washington on Wednesday where he and Obama are expected to announce an agreement to enhance border security and trade. Harper is also expected to urge Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Last month, the U.S. State Department decided to delay the project until 2013, after the presidential election, to allow the project's developer to figure out a way around Nebraska's Sandhills, an ecologically sensitive region whose aquifer supplies water to Kansas and other Great Plains states.

Harper has said he has already made it clear to Obama that Canada will step up its efforts to sell oil to Asia since the decision was delayed, and would keep pushing the U.S. to approve the hotly contested project.

Operator TransCanada's proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline includes Oklahoma's Cushing terminal.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.