Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) chided Hillary Clinton for ducking a question on the Keystone XL pipeline, stressing that voters have to know where she stands on the project.
Asked Tuesday in New Hampshire about Keystone, Clinton said it wouldn’t be appropriate for her to answer the question because she “was in a position to set this in motion” as secretary of State. The project is caught up in the State Department review process as it crosses into the United States from Canada.
“I am not going to second guess [President Obama],” she replied. “I want to wait and see what he and Secretary Kerry decide. If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.”
After the townhall event, Clinton told reporters, “I’ve been very clear: I will not express an opinion until [Obama and John Kerry] have made a decision, and then I will do so. If this is the number one issue on people’s minds, then they’re going to have to wait to see what Secretary Kerry and President Obama decide to do about it.”
Sanders told MSNBC last night that “if we are serious about combating climate change, which the scientists tell us is the major environmental crisis facing our planet, we have got to do everything we can to prevent the excavation and transportation of the some of the dirtiest fossil fuel on earth.”
“I think this Keystone pipeline idea is a terrible idea. I’m against it and frankly I think Secretary Clinton should be speaking out on this issue,” he said.
The senator said there’s not “merit to that answer” that she can’t speak on it now because of a secretary of State conflict.
“She’s a candidate for president of the United States. Climate change is one of the great issues that all of us have got to deal with and I think the people are entitled to know her opinion on the issue,” he added.
“…She’s not secretary of State now. She’s a candidate for the president of the United States. This is enormously important issue. You could say you are for it. You could say you are against it but I think should have an opinion on that issue.”
Sanders, who has been steadily climbing in the polls since entering the race, heads to New Hampshire this weekend for several town meetings, kicking off with a Friends of the Earth Action press conference in Concord.
“I think there is a feeling that people should at least have an opinion on the most important trade agreement ever entered into why the United States of America. I happen to think TPP is the continuation of disastrous trade policies which have cost us millions of jobs. I’m against it. Secretary should have a position on it,” he said.
“I think that the Keystone pipeline is excavating and transporting some of the dirtiest fuel on earth. I think if we’re serious about addressing climate change, the secretary should have an opinion on that as well… It’s not a question of loyalty. She is a candidate. You can agree with the President. You can disagree with the President. But when running for office and these are two of the monumental issues that we’re facing, I think it is obligatory for you to speak out and tell the American people what your view is.”