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Canada PM on pipeline plan: Oil to come anyway

Friday - 5/17/2013, 1:24am  ET

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to business leaders during a meeting in New York, Thursday May 16, 2013. Harper said Thursday that a controversial oil pipeline from his country to the U.S. Gulf Coast "absolutely needs to go ahead" and warned that the oil will be transported through America one way or another. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld)

CARA ANNA
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A controversial oil pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast "absolutely needs to go ahead," Canada's prime minister said Thursday, and he warned that the oil will be transported through America one way or another.

Stephen Harper addressed the Keystone XL project, a flashpoint in the debate over climate change, during a visit to New York City. The long-delayed project carrying oil from Canada's tar sands would need approval from the State Department, and Harper's remarks -- with the U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, in the audience -- were meant to apply some pressure.

"The only real immediate environmental issue here is, do we want to increase the flow of oil from Canada by pipeline or via rail?" Harper said. He called railroad transit "far more environmentally challenging."

Dozens of protesters from groups including the Sierra Club chanted against the pipeline as Harper arrived at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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