EDMONTON—Former United States secretary of state Hillary Clinton said her country and Canada need to seize the moment to become global leaders in cleaner energy.
“Of course we’re going to continue using fossil fuels, but I think we should set the global example for transitioning in some more orderly way away from fossil fuels,” Clinton told 1,500 people at a luncheon speech in Edmonton this week.
“And given the innovation, given the research capacities, given the experiences on both sides of our border, we’re in a perfect position to do that.”
It was Clinton’s first visit to the Alberta capital, part of her promotional tour for her new book of memoirs, ‘Hard Choices’.
This week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government approved the Northern Gateway pipeline to take Alberta crude to ports on the British Columbia coast—if 209 conditions are met.
Canada also awaits a decision by the U.S. on whether it will approve the Keystone XL pipeline to take Alberta oil diagonally across the continent to refineries in Texas.
Keystone has become a polarizing symbol of the future direction of North American energy.
Proponents say it’s critical to keep competitive, while opponents say it solidifies a reliance on fossil fuels.
Clinton, reiterating remarks she made earlier this week in a speech in Toronto, said Keystone is important but shouldn’t be allowed to define the energy relationship between the two nations.
“I think our relationship would get deeper and stronger and put us in a position to really be global leaders in energy and climate change if we worked more closely together, and that’s what I would like to see us do,” she said.