After months of floundering on the subject, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out against the Keystone XL pipeline project during a campaign event in Des Moines, 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," Clinton said.
"Therefore, I oppose it,” she said. "I don't think it's in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change.”
According to a Clinton aid, the former secretary of state kept her position on the issue quiet for so long because "she is in a unique position compared to other candidates,” referring to Clinton’s prior experience on Capitol Hill.
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"As she has said previously, she wanted to respect the president's timetable for making a decision and give her successor, Secretary Kerry, the space to conduct a thorough process," the aide told the Huffington Post.
"However, when she launched her campaign earlier this year, she expected a decision would have been made before now. Now Clinton feels she owes it to the American people to make it clear where she stands on this issue, as she has heard from Americans across the country who care deeply about this issue and who want to know the opinions of the candidates running for office.”
Clinton also said that she will offer a plan on climate change in the coming days. "For me, we need to be transitioning from fossil fuels," she said. However, she added, it will "take time" to transition to renewable energy. "That's why I led with my two big proposals: I want to see us in my first term install a half a billion solar panels, and in my second term have enough clean power to run all the homes in America," she said.
However, Clinton already offered that plan on climate change in July. According to the New York Times, she set a goal to produce 33 percent of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2027, compared to the 26 percent currently produced. Clinton also called for installing a half-billion solar panels by 2020.
It’s unclear how Clinton’s impending proposals will differentiate from or expand upon the current plan.