Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton has come out against the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Clinton, during a campaign stop in Iowa, called Keystone XL a distraction from the work of battling climate change.
Clinton gave her opinion in response to a question from a Drake University student after her forum on the cost of prescription drugs, stating she had hesitated to give an opinion while TransCanada’s permit request remained pending before the Obama Administration.
“So I thought this would be decided by now, and therefore I could tell you whether I agreed or disagreed,” Clinton said. “I feel now I’ve got a responsibility to you and other voters who asked me about this.”
Clinton said Keystone XL cannot be evaluated in isolation.
“It is imperative that we look at the Keystone Pipeline as what I believe it is — a distraction from the important work that we have to do to combat climate change — and unfortunately from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward to deal with all the other issues. Therefore I oppose it,” Clinton stated.
Clinton once had a direct hand in evaluating the oil pipeline that would cut through Nebraska to carry crude extracted from the oil sands of western Canada to oil refineries along the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. The TransCanada permit request, needed because the proposed pipeline crosses the Canadian border, was pending before the State Department during her tenure as Secretary of State.
It remains pending.
Clinton’s successor, Secretary of State John Kerry, will make a recommendation to President Barack Obama, who has the final say on TransCanada’s request.
Clinton said that if elected president, she would reject the request from TransCanada.
“I don’t think it is in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change,” according to Clinton. “I will be rolling out in a few days my plan for a North American approach to fighting climate change and clean energy.”
Clinton made the remarks during a campaign stop at the Moulten Elementary School gym in Des Moines Tuesday.
Dar Danielson, Radio Iowa, contributed to this report.