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Hillary Clinton Says She Opposes Keystone Pipeline

Hillary Clinton has finally taken a stance on the Keystone XL pipeline. For months she dodged the topic and refused to take a stance. On Tuesday, she came out against it.

“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,” Clinton said. “Therefore, I oppose it.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders credited his opponent for taking a stance, noting that it was about time she did.

“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,” Sanders said. “Clearly it would be absurd to encourage the extraction and transportation of some of the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet.”

The Washington Post reports:

Clinton had long insisted she must remain on the sidelines of an Obama administration decision about the proposed Canada-to-United States oil pipeline because she had been involved in negotiations over the pipeline when she was secretary of state. For her to weigh in now, as a political candidate, would put the White House and the State Department in a difficult position, Clinton had said.

But while she stayed mum, progressive challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won significant liberal support for a straightforward denunciation of the project. Democratic challenger Martin O’Malley, a former Maryland governor, and Clinton’s own senior campaign adviser, John Podesta, also oppose the pipeline.

Pope Francis, who arrived in the United States Tuesday, has also sought to make climate change a moral issue.

Clinton said Tuesday that the administration review is taking too long, and she must make her position clear. She was responding to voter questions following a healthcare event at an elementary school. It had become untenable to refrain from speaking any longer, Clinton told a young woman who asked her about Keystone.

Clinton has always struggled to rouse sustained enthusiasm from the far left of her party. Keystone became a symbol for some liberal leaders of Clinton’s perceived distance from their priorities.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register later Tuesday, Clinton expanded on her position.

“I don’t think we need to have a pipeline bringing very dirty oil,” over the border, Clinton said.

She said she will soon release a plan to knit together energy production and distribution across North America.

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

Photo credit: WISGOP.

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