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Canadian official urges Obama to approve pipeline

Rob Gillies, Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) -- The premier of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan is urging President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline by mid-February and has signed a joint letter with 10 U.S. Republican governors asking him to move swiftly.

Premier Brad Wall said Thursday in a phone interview that he hopes the pipeline will be approved by the middle of the first quarter. Wall and the political leaders say the line is crucial for energy security and the future economic prosperity of both countries. They say it will create thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.

The TransCanada pipeline would carry oil from the Alberta oil sands to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama rejected it last year, but invited TransCanada to file a new application with an altered route that would skirt an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska.