Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has claimed that opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline is not rooted in science.
"It's political," Trudeau told reporters outside the Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant in Vancouver. "And it is a failing of our prime minister to actually make a proper case for the Keystone XL pipeline by demonstrating that you cannot separate economy and environment."
Trudeau made the remarks after the U.S. State Department released a report saying it has no major environmental objections to the proposed 1,897-kilometre crude-oil pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Nebraska.
Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation is seeking approval to develop the $7-billion project in the face of intense opposition from environmentalists.
"The State Department's decision today simply highlights that this is Mr. Harper's political failure—and not a scientific or substance failure," Trudeau said.
He also said: "The decision by the State Department really highlights that the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States and elsewhere is not scientific."
Meanwhile, Greenpeace Canada's climate and energy campaigner, Mike Hudema, has characterized the State Department report as a "flawed analysis".
"You can’t build a massive new pipeline and the tar-sands mines to fill it without making climate change worse," Hudema said in a statement issued by Greenpeace Canada. "If President Barrack [sic] Obama truly wants to be able to tell his kids he did everything he could to combat climate change, then he must reject this pipeline because it is a fuse to one of the largest carbon bombs on the planet.”