FREDERICTON, NB (CP) -- "I think New Brunswick is poised to be the new energy hub, certainly in this part of North America," he said in an interview Tuesday. "It already supplies ... 80% of the home-heating oil for Maine.
"Energy is a major issue, obviously, and energy security is at the top of the list as far as important issues for the United States."
Wilkins was in New Brunswick as part of a farewell tour of Canada. He arrived in the province Monday to speak to Mount Allison University students and then visited the Moosehead Brewery in Saint John.
He had breakfast with Premier Shawn Graham on Tuesday morning before heading to Montreal and Ottawa later in the day.
"I have a great relationship with your premier," said Wilkins. "We have been talking about issues that are important to both the United States and New Brunswick this morning."
And that means energy.
Building up the energy sector is one of the central planks of Graham's government and an energy-hungry U.S. is part of that strategy.
Wilkins said his country's desire for reliable energy supplies will only increase in the future.
"New Brunswick will become an integral part of U.S. energy security in the future," he said.
Graham said he's encouraged by Wilkins's comments about New Brunswick's energy exports.
"Ambassador Wilkins has been a great champion for the province of New Brunswick in the United States," he said. "He has helped open a number of doors for me and access to the decision-makers. He is going to be missed when he finishes his tour of duty."
(c) The Canadian Press