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Canada's Trudeau says Trump 'very supportive' of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a meeting of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce in Calgary, Alberta, Canada December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Todd Korol

CALGARY, Alberta—Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday, Dec. 21, that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was "very supportive" of TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline in their first conversation after the U.S. election.

The 830,000-barrel-per-day Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil sands crude from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest, but the Obama administration rejected it last year.

"He actually brought up Keystone XL and indicated that he was very supportive of it," Trudeau told the audience at an event in Calgary, Canada's oil capital. "I will work with the new administration when it gets sworn in ... I'm confident that the right decisions will be taken."

Trump has previously said he would approve the pipeline but wanted a "better deal" for the United States. His election heartened investors in Canada's battered energy industry, which has struggled with two years of low prices and long-running concerns about market access.

Trudeau, who also supports Keystone XL, said he also saw "extraordinary opportunities" for Canada if the United States takes a step back from tackling climate change, given the business opportunities that will probably arise from new global environmental policies.

Canada's Parliament in October ratified the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions, bolstering Trudeau's effort to tackle them after a decade of inaction by the previous government. This month the Liberal government introduced a landmark national carbon price.

Critics say those policies will make the country less attractive to investment, especially with climate change skeptic Trump leading the United States. Trudeau's government says those measures will make Canada more attractive to green technology development and research.