Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that she opposes construction of the Keystone XL oil-sands pipeline, an announcement that ends years of declining to weigh in on the controversial project, which environmentalists are battling hard to defeat.
Clinton’s comments came just as most of Washington’s attention was turned to the arrival of Pope Francis in D.C. According to a copy of her remarks provided by her campaign, Clinton said, "I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone 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 to deal with all the other issues. Therefore, I oppose it."
Clinton’s answer came in response to a question from a Drake University student who said that climate change was an important issue for her, and that she opposed the Keystone XL pipeline because of it.
The revelation of her position in Iowa will likely help the Democratic White House candidate corral support among green activists, but the project is supported by a large number of labor unions, another key part of the Democratic base. Speaking to jobs specifically Tuesday, Clinton said she wants to implement a policy that would “put thousands of Americans to work” fixing old, leaky pipelines and repairing railcars, rail beds, and rail tracks that currently transport oil. She said there are “a lot more jobs, from my perspective, on a North American clean energy agenda than you would ever get from one pipeline crossing the border.”