Clinton: TransCanada to upgrade pipeline safety

By MATTHEW DALY | August 4, 2011 | 5:00 PM EDT

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shakes hands with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says U.S. officials are working with a Canadian company to develop safety standards beyond those required by law as the State Department weighs a plan to pipe oil from western Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Clinton said Thursday that the new standards should ensure that if a permit for the pipeline is issued, "the project will be as safe as it could possibly be."

Clinton called safety of the 1,900-mile pipeline "one of our highest priorities," noting that an environmental review of the project is due later this month.

Calgary-based TransCanada wants to build a $7 billion pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas. The State Department has authority over the pipeline because it crosses an international boundary.