Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton voiced her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday after having long refrained from taking a definitive stance on the issue. As former leader of the State Department, Clinton hesitated to give her opinion on the matter in order to allow President Barack Obama and current Secretary of State John Kerry to make what they believe would be the best decision for the country. She told The Des Moines Register, “I believed it was important for me to give both the president and Secretary Kerry the space and time to make that decision.”
When questioned on her position in July, CNN reports that Clinton responded, “If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.” This week, however, Clinton broke her silence at a town hall meeting in Iowa on the Keystone XL pipeline. Noting that the ongoing 7-year decision making process has been a “distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change,” she finally admitted, “therefore I oppose it,” reports Reuters. Instead, Clinton told The Des Moines Register that she will release a clean energy agreement for the United States, Canada, and Mexico in the next few days.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 23, 2015
While she has declined to comment on to Keystone XL since entering the presidential race in April, all other democratic presidential candidates have already confirmed their opposition. Clinton is taking hits from both the democratic and republican parties for her decision to speak out now against the pipeline. While most democrats oppose the pipeline, noting the potential environmental risks, republicans instead tend to support the pipeline for the potential job creation. Democratic running mate and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley claims that Clinton has been slow to take a position, and has followed public opinion on many important issues rather than taking an individual stance. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush instead tweeted, “.@HillaryClinton finally says what we already knew. She favors environmental extremists over U.S. jobs. #KeystoneXL.”
(Image: Hillary Clinton’s Twitter profile photo. Credit: Hillary Clinton/Twitter)