TORONTO—Washington’s long-awaited decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline should not become a symbol of the relationship between the United States and Canada, former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton said.
Speaking before a business crowd of roughly 1,800 in Toronto, Clinton said the controversial project—designed to move Alberta crude oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast—has become “a proxy for everything” as proponents and critics lock horns over its fate.
“However this Keystone decision is finally made, some people are going to be very happy, relieved and think it was the right decision and some people are going to be distraught and even angry and upset, thinking it was a terrible decision,” she said.
“I do not see it, though, nor should it be a proxy for the relationship. It is, after all, one pipeline. We already have a lot of pipelines that cross our border.”
The U.S. decision on the pipeline has been stalled while the Obama administration drops hints that Canada must do more on the environment.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said earlier this month that Canada wants to deal with climate change without crippling its economy.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Joe Oliver has said the U.S. administration’s indefinite delay of the Keystone project hurts employment on both sides of the border.
The TransCanada Corp. project should be part of a wider discussion on energy and the environment, Clinton said.
“I do believe that both Canada and the United States can become even richer, more prosperous but also more environmentally sustainable by having a broad engagement over energy and climate, and not focusing everything on this one decision,” she said.
The former first lady was in Toronto to discuss her new memoir, ‘Hard Choices’.