Hillary Clinton avoided taking a clear position on the Keystone XL pipeline while talking about climate change in Iowa Monday.
The pipeline, which transports oil from Canada to the U.S., been opposed by environmental activists who think it is bad for the environment. The construction of the latest phase has been held up by the Obama administration. Whoever is elected in 2016 will face major decisions regarding the pipeline.
During the course of her campaign, Clinton has avoided commenting on Keystone XL to avoiding upsetting either environmentalists or people reaping economic benefits from the pipeline. On Monday, Clinton said that the pipeline should "run its course."
"No other presidential candidate was secretary of state when this process started," Clinton said of the Keystone pipeline. "[A] final decision is pending, made by Secretary Kerry and President Obama. Very simply. the evaluation will determine whether the pipeline is in our nation's interest and I'm confident that the pipeline's impact on global greenhouse gas emissions will be a major factor in that decision as the president has said. So I will refrain from commenting because I had a leading role in getting that process started and I think we have to let it run its course."
The Democratic frontrunner unrolled a new plan to tackle climate change on Sunday night, in which she proposed a 10-year goal for half of all electricity coming from zero-carbon sources and for one-third of power to come from renewable sources.
"Hillary Clinton's energy 'plan' is to raise more taxes and double down on President Obama's EPA overreach, which held down wages and cost American jobs," Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short said. "Clinton avoided specifics and refused to take a position on important job-creating energy projects like the Keystone Pipeline, reminding voters why they think she's untrustworthy."
During her speech, Clinton also spoke to the importance of America being a world leader on energy issues. She claimed that the environment is not a bipartisan issue and emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships.
"We also have to mobilize an unprecedented global commitment to reduce carbon emissions around the world. And I know firsthand from my time as secretary of state that America's ability to lead the world on this issue hinges on our commitment to act ourselves," Clinton said. "No country will fall in line just because we tell them to. They need to see us taking significant steps of our own."