TORONTO (AP) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline shouldn't be seen as a proxy for the relationship between Canada and the United States.
Clinton gave a speech in Toronto to promote her new book before taking questions from Frank McKenna, Canada's former ambassador to the U.S. McKenna said the Obama administration's delayed decision on whether to approve the pipeline is source of tension and is increasingly viewed as a proxy for the relationship.
The pipeline is critical to Canada, which needs infrastructure in place to export its growing oil sands production. Alberta has the world's third largest oil reserves, with 170 billion barrels of proven reserves.
"I did not see it 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," Clinton said.
The potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, who served as President Barack Obama's top diplomat, avoided directly commenting on the merits of the pipeline.
TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline would carry more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta and the U.S. Bakken oil field across six U.S. states to refineries in the Texas Gulf Coast. Republicans, the Canadian government and business and labor groups have long urged the Obama administration to approve the pipeline as a source of much-needed jobs and a step toward North American energy independence. Environmental groups have been pressuring Obama to reject the pipeline, saying it would carry "dirty oil" that contributes to global warming. They also worry about a spill.
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