Labor groups differ over US-Canada oil pipeline

August 19, 2011 - 3:15 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Canadian company's plan to pipe oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast is pitting traditional Democratic allies against each other.

Two unions said Friday they oppose the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline. That opposition aligns them with environmentalists but pits them at odds with the Teamsters, one of the largest and most influential unions.

The Transport Workers Union and the Amalgamated Transit Union say they're concerned that the $7 billion pipeline could pollute groundwater and cause health problems near the Texas refineries where the oil will go.

Teamsters' chief economist James Kimball says the project would create thousands of construction jobs at a time of high unemployment.

Calgary-based TransCanada says it has agreements with four international unions to build the pipeline.