Obama speech to let Alberta move faster on climate change: ministers

Associated Press

EDMONTON - Alberta cabinet ministers are praising U.S. President Barack Obama's recent remarks on climate change.

They say the president's state of the union address shows the U.S. is catching up to Alberta on the issue and allows the province to move even faster to combat the problem.

Still, Environment Minister Diana McQueen says she has asked the group setting up a monitoring agency for the oilsands to speed up their work.

She's also asked her staff to come up with a renewed climate change strategy, which could include increasing the $15 per tonne the province puts on carbon emissions.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Cal Dallas says government officials are considering another trip to Washington to make their case about the steps Alberta is taking to develop the oilsands responsibly.

Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are expected to make a decision soon on the Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline is considered as crucial to move more oilsands bitumen to markets, but is bitterly opposed by American environmentalists as long-term infrastructure that will lock the U.S. into high-carbon fuels.

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