Keystone XL pipelines fate still unclear after Kerry Baird meeting

WASHINGTON — The Keystone XL pipeline project was among the topics on the table at a meeting Friday between Foreign Minister John Baird and his newly appointed American counterpart.Baird says he appreciated the discussion he had with Secretary of State John Kerry about the controversial Keystone project.But Kerry wouldn’t publicly indicate what he thinks of the project that has attracted criticism from environmentalists on both sides of the border.He instead told a news conference that he will await a review process started by his predecessor Hillary Clinton and is promising a decision in the “near term.”The decision on Keystone is in the hands of the state department because the Keystone project will cross an international border.Baird was the first foreign minister to meet with Kerry in his new role.Kerry, who was officially sworn in on Wednesday, insisted that he meet first with Canada’s foreign minister, Victoria Nuland, the state department’s spokeswoman, said in a daily briefing Thursday.“The secretary felt very strongly that our Canadian neighbour and ally should come first,” Nuland said.Baird’s visit to the U.S. capital comes just days after he and Kerry had a 15-minute phone call on Sunday.Baird made the case for Keystone approval during his weekend phone conversation with Kerry.The $7 billion project would carry carbon-intensive bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and has become a flashpoint for U.S. environmentalists, who view it as a symbol of dirty oil. read more