Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton believes Keystone is a distraction from climate change, fellow Dems weigh in
“I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone XL pipeline as what I believe it is: A distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change, and, unfortunately from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward and deal with other issues,” she said during a campaign event in Iowa Tuesday.
“Therefore, I oppose it. I oppose it because I don’t think it’s in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change.”
Clinton had held out on taking a stance on the topic, citing her former job as secretary of state as the reason for not publicly sharing her position. Clinton said she did not want to “prejudge” President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on the result of an administration review, but continual delays in finishing the process prompted her to publicly state her point of view.
“I have been waiting for the administration to make a decision,” she said last week in Concord, NH. “I thought I owed them that. I worked in the administration. I started the process that is supposed to lead to a decision. I can’t wait too much longer. And I am putting the White House on notice. I’m going to tell you what I think soon because I can’t wait. I thought they would have it decided way, you know, way by now and they haven’t.”
Senator Bernie Sanders, who is also running for the democratic nomination, praised Clinton’s decision to oppose the pipeline. “As a senator who has vigorously opposed the Keystone pipeline from the beginning, I am glad that Secretary Clinton finally has made a decision and I welcome her opposition to the pipeline. Clearly it would be absurd to encourage the extraction and transportation of some of the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet.”
Other Democrats, such as Martin O’Malley, were more critical of Clinton, saying she is continually behind in declaring a stance on topics. “On issue after issue–marriage equality, drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants, children fleeing violence in Central America, the Syrian refugee crisis, and now the Keystone Pipeline, Secretary Clinton has followed–not forged–public opinion,” he said. “Leadership is about stating where you stand on critical issues, regardless of how they poll or focus group.”