Clin­ton an­nounces Key­stone op­po­si­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY S. A. MILLER

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton an­nounced her op­po­si­tion to the Key­stone XL oil pipeline, break­ing months of si­lence on a hot-but­ton is­sue that had her torn be­tween en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists and la­bor unions that are both pow­er­ful forces within the party.

Mrs. Clin­ton said that she sided with en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists be­cause the long-stalled pipeline pro­ject had be­come a “dis­trac­tion” from ad­vanc­ing a cli­mat­e­change agenda.

“I op­pose it be­cause I don’t think it is in the best in­ter­est of what we need to do to fight cli­mate change,” Mrs. Clin­ton said at a cam­paign event at an ele­men­tary school in Des Moines, Iowa.

Mrs. Clin­ton had hinted a day ear­lier that she would soon an­nounce her po­si­tion on the pro­posed cross-coun­try oil pipeline, but the an­nounce­ment came as a sur­prise dur­ing a ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion.

The ques­tion about the Key­stone XL pro­ject was posed by a school-age girl in the au­di­ence, prompt­ing spec­u­la­tion that the ques­tion was planted by the cam­paign.

The rev­e­la­tion of Mrs. Clin­ton’s pipeline views also co­in­cided with the ar­rival in the U.S. of Pope Fran­cis, who strongly ad­vo­cates for fight­ing cli­mate change and has called it “one of the prin­ci­pal chal­lenges fac­ing hu­man­ity in our day.”

En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists ap­plauded Mrs. Clin­ton for join­ing the cause. Tier­nan Sit­ten­feld, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of gov­ern­ment af­fairs at the League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers Ac­tion Fund, said she was “thrilled.”

“This is ex­actly the kind of lead­er­ship we need in or­der to leave a healthy planet for our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren,” she said. “Sec­re­tary Clin­ton’s re­cent clean energy pro­posal, cou­pled with her op­po­si­tion to drilling in the Arc­tic Ocean and now to Key­stone XL, is both in­spir­ing and ex­cit­ing.”

En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists op­pose build­ing the 875-mile pipeline be­cause of the in­creased pro­duc­tion of fos­sil fu­els and the risk of oil spills.

La­bor unions, some of which have crit­i­cized Mrs. Clin­ton for hedg­ing on the is­sue, sup­port the pro­ject be­cause it would cre­ate jobs.

They also point out that Canada has said the oil will be mined and burned no mat­ter what, mean­ing there’ll be no global emis­sions dif­fer­ence, and, if sold to Amer­i­can cus­tomers, it would then be shipped to the U.S. via rail­cars, which also risk spills.


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