As Pope Francis landed in the United States, Hillary Clinton revealed her position on an issue that has dogged her and the Obama Administration for years. Clinton came out against the Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,179 mile project that would bring tar sands from Canada.
Speaking to a community forum in Des Moines, “I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I believe it is — a distraction from important work we have to do on climate change.”
Continuing, “And unfortunately from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward with all the other issues. Therefore I oppose it.”
Clinton has faced continuing questions over her stance, especially as the State Department under her watch was responsible for evaluating the project. Prior to her announcing her stance, the White House was briefed on her policy update.
The pipeline is a contentious issue. Environmentalists oppose it for fear it could cause great economic harm while big business supports it due to the potential for new jobs, energy independence, and lower gas prices.
The Obama Administration has been delaying a final decision on the matter.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) praised Clinton for opposing 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.” Former Governor Martin O’Malley criticized Clinton for not leading on the issue and instead claimed that she was following polls to determine policy.