While visiting Canada as part of her book tour, Hillary Clinton was asked if the U.S. should allow the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
She promptly answered, “I can’t respond.”
The proposed pipeline could carry about 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada to refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast.
A story in Politico provided the political context to her response:
Speaking more broadly about the pipeline issue, Clinton said, “This particular decision is a very difficult one because there are so many factors at play.
“I can’t really comment at great length because I had responsibility for it and it’s been passed on and it wouldn’t be appropriate, but I hope that Canadians appreciate that the United States government — the Obama administration — is trying to get it right,” she continued. “And getting it right doesn’t mean you will agree or disagree with the decision but that it will be one based on the best available evidence and all of the complex local, state, federal, interlocking laws and concerns.”
The real reason she waffled and refused to answer is Clinton fears a backlash from taking a position. If she supported the construction of the pipeline she would be on the receiving end of rabid criticism from the radical environmental left, including billionaire Tom Steyer.
Steyer has promised to spend $100 million to support Democrats in the upcoming election that oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. According to The New York Times, Steyer is willing to spend $50 million of his money and raise the balance by fundraising through his super PAC NextGen Climate Action.
On the other hand, a decision against the pipeline would alienate labor unions that are seeking much needed construction jobs.
With tensions escalating in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, driving oil prices above $100 a barrel and rising, the correct response is to build the pipeline as soon as possible.
Energy independence is a critical national security issue.
While an affirmative answer is in the best interest of our country, Clinton decided to pass fearing retaliation from a left-wing billionaire.