Are we finally moving closer to approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline?

Alberta Premier Alison Redford must certainly hope so as she is in Washington DC this week to meet with American lawmakers. Her
three-day trip with Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations Cal Dallas and Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Diana McQueen is Redford's fourth visit in the past 18 months to the U.S. capital.

According to Canada's Sun News Network, Dallas said the team plans to highlight Alberta's environmental record and clean technology development. Specifically, they will discuss Alberta's investments in carbon capture and its $312-million clean technology fund.

"It's quite clear that the type of technology and the safety considerations that have been agreed to in the application with respect to the Keystone are at the highest standard of any pipeline that would have been generated in the United States," said Dallas, who hosted Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on a tour of Alberta's oilsands last month.

"So I think the broader discussion is around the oilsands' greenhouse gas emissions and environmental considerations, and then also there's obviously a discussion about the importance of the economic activity that results from this type of a project."

Of crictical importance for Congress is a point concerning the impact on the U.S. economy. Dallas said about 90 cents of every dollar ends up back in the U.S. economy when the U.S. buys oil from Canada.

"That really sharply contrasts with, for example, Saudi Arabia where it would be 33 cents, and Venezuela where it would be 46 cents," he said.