Canada said on Thursday it was close to unveiling long-delayed rules on greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands, a move that could help persuade U.S. skeptics that Ottawa is serious about curbing climate change.

High-profile protesters, citing what they say is Canada's poor green record, want President Barack Obama to block TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Gulf Coast.

Obama made clear in his State of the Union speech this week that he wanted to focus on climate change, and David Jacobson, U.S. ambassador in Ottawa, said Canada needed to do more to curb emissions.

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