Emphasizing the importance of the relationship between the United States and Canada, Gov. Christie called again for completion of the Keystone XL pipeline during a speech Thursday in Calgary, Alberta.
Christie previously criticized the delay of the pipeline extension — which would carry petroleum from Alberta to refineries in the Gulf Coast — in a September speech in Mexico.
On Thursday, the first day of a two-day trade mission to Canada, Christie reiterated his stance on the extension, framing it as a key step to boosting ties between the U.S. and Canada.
“This is no way to treat a friend,” Christie said to business officials at the Calgary Petroleum Club in a speech carried online. “This is not about sending your oil across our land,” he said, as the pipeline would benefit both countries.
Christie, who is considering a run for president in 2016, did not mention President Obama when advocating for the pipeline. Obama has delayed a decision on the project.
The Republican governor’s position is consistent with that of his party, whose members cite the project’s economic benefits. Environmentalists oppose it, in part because of the energy and carbon emissions involved in extracting petroleum from Alberta oil sands.
On Thursday, Christie argued that the extension would be safe and would boost employment, citing 42,000 temporary jobs projected to be created as a result of construction.
The petroleum carried by the pipeline is not expected to wind up in New Jersey. But Christie and other proponents say the project would benefit the Garden State by lowering prices for consumers.
Tom Kloza, an analyst with the Oil Price Information Service, said that prices would not drop as a result of the pipeline and that the project would have little impact on New Jersey. “That’s like saying, if a South American butterfly flaps its wings, does it have an impact on you?” Kloza said. “In quantum theory, it does.”
Some of Christie’s remarks Thursday matched word-for-word the speech he gave during the trade mission to Mexico.
And on other energy-related topics, much of the governor’s message Thursday mirrored his speech in that country as well.
Christie again called for more investment in North American pipeline infrastructure, a lifting of the 1970s-era ban on crude oil exports, and more certainty in the regulatory process.
He repeated that the U.S. should prioritize its relationships with Mexico and Canada, praising Canada’s contributions as a neighbor and world partner, including its troops who have served in Afghanistan.