Premier Redford promotes Alberta down south

Premier Alison Redford will be searching for answers when she arrives in Washington on Monday.

The trip comes just days after the Obama administration announced it would be delaying a decision on the pipeline until after the November 2012 presidential election.

On the PC Association website Redford said she understood it was a domestic issue for the U.S. but would be looking for answers on why they came to the decision.

She also said the trip was bigger than the Keystone XL project.

"This is not, per se, a trip about Keystone.

"This mission is about Alberta; about the fact we are good stewards of the environment, and that we are ideally positioned to be a safe, secure and responsible supplier of energy to the US, which is our good friend and largest trading partner."

Redford added that the Keystone pipeline was, "an important piece of infrastructure for our province. It will provide jobs and an important means to ship our product to market."

However, the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour told CTV News the U.S. decision may be for the best.

"We actually think we should see this delay as an opportunity rather than a disappointment," Gil McGowan said.

McGowan said that thousands of jobs would be lost if the bitumen was sent from Alberta to Texas. He advocates having it turned into sellable product in Alberta.

"What we have been saying for years is we should find some way for Alberta and Canada to move up the value ladder and that means more upgrading and more refineries."

The Wildrose Party issued a statement on Saturday in support of Redford's trip.

"Ms. Redford is doing the right thing by continuing to advance Alberta's interests on the international stage," Party leader Danielle Smith wrote.

"Alberta must now advocate more strongly than ever to see this critical project become a reality and make the case that its construction will drive jobs and economic growth south of the border.", Sun Nov 13 2011

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