Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton officially announced Tuesday that she opposes the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project. Clinton had declined taking a position on the construction project for months, saying that because of her former job as U.S. secretary of state, she didn’t want to interfere with the Obama administration’s deliberations, the Associated Press reported.
"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," Clinton said at a campaign event in Iowa on Tuesday, NBC News reported. "Therefore, I oppose it."
Last week, Clinton expressed her impatience with the White House for delaying its final judgment on the project.
“I can’t wait too much longer,” Clinton said last week, the Wall Street Journal reported. “I’m putting the White House on notice. I am going to tell you what I think soon because I can’t wait.”
The Keystone XL pipeline project is a proposed 1,179-mile-long crude oil pipeline that would begin near the Canadian border and extend south to Steele City, Nebraska. Environmental activists largely oppose the project and have said it could have harmful effects on the environment. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s rival Democratic candidate, previously said it was hard for him to understand how someone could be so concerned with climate change but not oppose the pipeline project. After Clinton announced her position Tuesday, Sanders applauded her stance.
“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,” said Sanders, according to a news release. “Clearly it would be absurd to encourage the extraction and transportation of some of the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet.”
Republican candidate Jeb Bush, however, expressed a different opinion in response to Clinton’s position on the project. The former Florida governor took to Twitter on Tuesday, writing, “@HillaryClinton finally says what we already knew. She favors environmental extremists over U.S. jobs. #KeystoneXL.”
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) September 22, 2015
— API (@API_News) September 22, 2015