After remaining fairly quest on her position on the issue, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has formally announced that she opposes the Keystone XL Pipeline.

via a katz /
via a katz /

Clinton is on the campaign trail in Iowa, where she was asked a question about the Keystone pipeline by a Des Moines audience member. Calling the pipeline a “distraction” from the pressing issue of confronting climate change, Clinton said “I oppose it because I don’t think it’s in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change.”

The transcontinental Keystone XL Pipeline seeks to create a 1,700 mile long pipeline stretching across the United States, taking tar-sand from Alberta, Canada, and pumping it to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. It poses several serious environmental threats, including potential oil leaks and spills, an increase in carbon emissions, and a continued dependency on fossil fuels. “We need to be transitioning from fossil fuels… to renewable energy,” Clinton said.

Progressive and environmental groups have long opposed construction of the Keystone pipeline. In 2013 more than 50,000 people marched in Washington, DC to protest the pipeline, and to demand action on climate change.

President Obama vetoed a plan for the construction of the pipeline in February, saying it was his duty to the American people to prevent legislation that fails to consider issues that could bear on national interest- like protecting the environment.

The impacts of climate change around the world disproportionately affects women, from water accessibility to increased violence in the wake of natural disasters. The consequences of human damage to our planet are felt worst by women and girls, and can lead to health problems, victimization, and long-lasting economic and environmental problems for entire nations.

During her speech in Iowa, Clinton addressed concerns that the pipeline is a method of stimulating job growth in the mid-west. She points to her plan to expand and improve America’s consumption of renewable energy, creating far more jobs than the construction of the Keystone pipeline.

Media Resources: CNN 7/22/15; Feminist Newswire 2/25/15; 2/19/13;

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