O'Malley highlights contrast with Clinton on Keystone
© Greg Nash

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley took a thinly veiled shot at his Democratic presidential rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonColorado governor teases possible presidential run Mueller asks judge for September sentencing for Papadopoulos House Judiciary Committee subpoenas FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts MORE on Monday over her lack of comment on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

"Real leadership means forging public opinion. Real leadership means taking stands on critical issues," O'Malley wrote in an email to supporters Monday afternoon discussing Keystone.

"Our climate, our home, is in trouble if we do not act," O'Malley wrote. "I know where I stand on Keystone XL and I have a plan to end our reliance on fossil fuels by 2050."

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His comments came shortly after Clinton refused — once again — to weigh in on the controversial project during a climate change speech in Iowa, which she used to tout part of her newly unveiled climate plan.

Clinton noted that she served in "a leading role" as secretary of State when the Obama administration first considered the oil sands pipeline and said that she would let the project "run its course."

O'Malley's campaign quickly highlighted his own record on the issue, including a pair of tweets noting that as president he would "reject projects like Keystone XL, drilling off our coasts and in the Arctic and Alaska.”

"Governor O'Malley is opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline because we can't move to a clean energy future if we continue to rely on dirty, short-term fossil fuel fixes," deputy campaign manager Lis Smith said in a statement.

"Every Democrat should follow his lead and take a stand to commit to ending our reliance on fossil fuels," Smith added.

Clinton pointed out she is in a unique position regarding the transnational pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast, which supporters have pushed the Obama administration for years to approve.

“No other presidential candidate was secretary of State when this process started," Clinton said Monday.