WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2015 - Hillary Clinton came out against building the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday, calling it a "distraction" from addressing climate change.
The former secretary of state announced her long-sought position on the project in answering a question during an appearance in Iowa.
“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," she said.
"Therefore, I oppose it. I oppose it because I don't think … it's in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change.” The project, which would carry oil from Canada's tar sands to the Gulf coast, has been stalled awaiting approval from the Obama administration. President Obama vetoed a bill in February that would have cleared the way for the pipeline.
The State Department found that the pipeline wouldn't have a significant impact on greenhouse gases, but the Environmental Protection Agency this year urged the department to reconsider that conclusion.
The environmental group Friends of the Earth said Clinton's opposition to Keystone was “an important about-face for Clinton, who was initially inclined to support the pipeline during her tenure” at State.
Clinton's main Democratic challenger, Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, opposes the pipeline, too.
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