Hillary Clinton signaled on Tuesday that she won’t weigh in on whether to finish construction on the Keystone XL pipeline until she becomes president.
Clinton was asked about the oil pipeline during a Q&A in Nashua, N.H. And as she did on Monday during a campaign stop in Iowa, the Democratic presidential candidate declined to say whether she supports or opposes the project, which will bring oil from Alberta, Canada into the U.S.
“Well, as you know, I was the secretary of state who started that process. I was the one who put into place the investigation,” Clinton began in response to a “yes or no” question from a man in the audience.
“This is President Obama’s decision, and I am not going to second guess him because I was in a position to set this in motion, and I do not think that would be the right thing. So I want to wait and see what he and Secretary Kerry decide.”
“If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question,” Clinton added.
Clinton’s refusal to say where she stands on the pipeline comes just as she’s released an ambitious new plan to address climate change. That plan calls for a dramatic increase in renewable energy and aims at reducing oil consumption in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Environmentalists and many in the Democratic base oppose construction of the pipeline. They say that that the oil in Alberta is relatively dirty and will contribute more to climate change. Clinton’s two main competitors, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, have come out and said that they oppose the pipeline.
But a majority of Americans support the pipeline, which is expected to create tens of thousands of new jobs. A CNN/ORC poll conducted in January found that 57 percent support the pipeline. Only 28 percent oppose it.