Clinton dodges Keystone question

Clinton dodges Keystone question

Presidential hopeful Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCarter Page warrant reflects attack on our civil liberties Former Obama aide to Comey: 'No one is asking for your advice' Comey to Dems: 'Don't lose your minds and rush to the socialist left' MORE still won’t take a position on the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.

During an Iowa speech on climate change Monday, Clinton refused to weigh in on the project. She argued that because she served as President Obama's secretary of State when the pipeline was under consideration, it would be inappropriate for her to comment.

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“No other presidential candidate was secretary of state when this process started, and I put together a very thorough, deliberative, evidence-based process to evaluate the environmental impact and other considerations of Keystone,” Clinton said at the Des Moines event.

“So I will refrain from commenting, because I had a leading role in getting that process started, and I think that we have to let it run its course,” she continued.

Clinton's comments are likely to further infuriate environmentalists, who have criticized her for years for avoiding the project’s controversy and declining to weigh in on oil drilling, hydraulic fracturing or other environmental measures.

Late Sunday, Clinton released the first piece of her climate platform, setting goals for solar power and renewable energy installation if she takes the White House.

Environmentalists applauded the goals as a good first step, but also say she should provide more detail on what she would do to tackle climate change.

For nearly seven years, the Obama administration has been taking various steps to evaluate TransCanada Corp.’s application to build the Keystone pipeline, which would run from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Since the pipeline would cross the Canadian border, Clinton took a leading role in the evaluation up until 2013, a role Secretary of State John Kerry is now responsible for.

She used the Monday speech to talk further about her climate plan, saying, “America needs to lead this fight, not go MIA.”

Clinton also said she would roll back tax incentives that help the oil industry and use them to help clean energy industries.

But she dodged a question on whether she would seek to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, saying she would outline later how she’d propose to pay for the expansion of renewable energy sources.