Clinton ally blasts Dakota Access pipeline

Clinton ally blasts Dakota Access pipeline
© Getty Images

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) said she opposes the controversial Dakota Access pipeline because the nation should move away from fossil fuels.

Granholm, a close ally to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE and co-chairwoman of Clinton’s presidential transition team, did not say she was speaking for Clinton, who has avoided talking about the oil pipeline.

ADVERTISEMENT

Granholm was asked Tuesday evening at Canisius College in New York whether she stands “with the Standing Rock Sioux in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline,” to which she responded, “Yes, I do,” according to a video clip of the event published by environmental activist group 350 Action.

She went on to say, “We should be erring on the side of generating more renewable energy, rather than generating more fossil fuel energy. And pipelines facilitate the generation of fossil fuels, fossil fuel energy.

“We ought to be doing everything we possibly can to keep fossil fuel energy in the ground and developing the renewable side."

Emails published last month by WikiLeaks show that Granholm unsuccessfully pushed to be President Obama’s first secretary of Energy four days after he was elected in November 2008. The Clinton campaign has not verified the emails, which WikiLeaks published, saying they were hacked from campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account.

Clinton has been under intense pressure from environmentalists and Native Americans to come out against Dakota Access, but she has remained silent.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe says part of the planned project in North Dakota would destroy historic artifacts and burial grounds that the tribe finds sacred, though the state and the project’s supporters dispute that.

While opposing the pipeline could shore up environmental support for Clinton, numerous labor unions strongly support the project and would see her opposition as opposition to the workers constructing Dakota Access and other fossil fuel pipelines.

The Obama administration decided in September to hold off on giving the developer, Energy Transfer Partners, the easement it needed to build under the federally owned Lake Oahe, while officials reconsider whether they properly consult with Standing Rock and other tribes.

President Obama said Tuesday that the Army Corps of Engineers is exploring ways to reroute the pipeline to avoid the areas at issue.