As you have no doubt heard by now, at a town hall in Des Moines yesterday Hillary Clinton finally stated that she was opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Video of the full exchange is above, and today Clinton has reiterated and expanded on her answer in a post at Medium entitled "Why I oppose Keystone XL":
When I was secretary of state, the department began reviewing an application to build a pipeline that would bring Canadian oil sands crude across the border, run more than a thousand miles through the American heartland, and terminate in Nebraska — Keystone XL.
As the secretary who initiated the review, I refrained from commenting on the pipeline after I left the federal government. I didn’t want to get ahead of President Obama while the process was still underway — because the decision was and is his to make.
Since the application was filed, the effects of climate change have grown more acute. More than 8 million acres have burned in the United States so far this wildfire season. California is in the fourth year of a historic drought scientists say has been made worse by climate change. More severe storms and extreme heat waves have wreaked havoc around the world.
I have come to feel I can’t stay silent on an issue that matters so much to so many. Though I wanted to give the president space to make a decision, the process has taken far longer than I expected. I want the American people to know where I stand. That’s why I am making it clear:
I am opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.Surprised? You shouldn't be. This stance was hinted at last month when she openly disagreed with the White House on Arctic drilling. Also, Clinton's delay in stating her position on this - even after repeated pressure and criticism - was explained a couple of months ago at Hillary HQ. Considering her previously stated rationale, I think the main surprise here is that she went ahead and spoke up now instead of waiting any longer. Good move.
But that's not all:
Building a clean, secure, and affordable North American energy future is bigger than Keystone XL or any other single project. That’s what I will focus on as president.
That’s why today I am announcing a comprehensive strategy to modernize American energy infrastructure and forge a new partnership with Canada and Mexico to combat climate change across the continent, unleashing billions in investment, delivering reliable and affordable energy, protecting the health of our families and communities, and creating good-paying jobs and careers.
The United States trades as much energy with Canada and Mexico each year as with all other countries combined, through a deeply integrated pipeline network, rail system, and electrical grid. As President, I will immediately launch negotiations with Canada and Mexico to forge a North American Climate Compact that sets strong national targets to cut carbon pollution, so all three countries demonstrate a commitment to climate action; provides accountability measures, so each country has confidence that the others are living up to their end of the bargain; and creates certainty for investors and confidence in the future of our climate, so we can all marshal resources equal to the challenges we face.Check out Clinton's entire post, which fits in perfectly with her ambitious and acclaimed climate change agenda.
If she's elected, I think we just might just get the best environmental president of our lifetimes.