Signaling break with Obama, Clinton 'skeptical' about Arctic drilling

Hillary Clinton won't answer Keystone XL pipeline question
Hillary Clinton Keystone Pipeline_00002504


    Hillary Clinton won't answer Keystone XL pipeline question


Hillary Clinton won't answer Keystone XL pipeline question 00:30

(CNN)Hillary Clinton may not be willing to take a position on the Keystone XL pipeline, but the former secretary of state told a New Hampshire television station Tuesday that she has "doubts" about drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

The position is a break with the Obama administration, who earlier this year approved drilling in the Arctic ocean and earlier this month gave Shell the green light to drill two oil exploration wells 70 miles off the Alaskan coast.
"I have doubts about whether we should continue drilling in the Arctic," Clinton told NH1's Paul Steinhasuer on Wednesday. "And I don't think it is a necessary part of our overall clean energy climate change agenda."
She added, "I will be talking about drilling in general but I am skeptical about whether we should give the go ahead to drill in the Arctic."
    Environmental activists want the United States to wean itself off fossil fuels and say drilling in the Arctic will just deepen the country's commitment to oil. They also harbor concerns about how one drilling mistake in the Arctic could have long-lasting impacts on the fragile ecosystem.
    Though not an outright yes or no answer, Clinton's expression of doubt is far further than she has been willing to go on the Keystone XL pipeline, a 1,179-mile-long project that would move oil from Canada to refineries in the United States.
    Clinton declined to take a position on the pipeline on Monday and Tuesday, citing the fact that Obama -- her former boss -- has yet to weigh in on the issue.
    "I am not going to second guess (President Barack Obama) because I was in a position to set this in motion," Clinton said on Tuesday in New Hampshire, referencing environmental reviews conducted by the State Department that began when she was secretary of state. "I want to wait and see what he and Secretary Kerry decide."
    Later, she said, "If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question."
    The hedge did not sit well with liberals and environmental activists who would like the former secretary of state to oppose to the pipeline.
    "Can't wait!" tweeted environmental activists Bill McKibben, in response to Clinton's line about divulging her position once she is president.
    Clinton unveiled her solar heavy clean energy plan in Iowa on Monday, pledging she would put the United States on a path toward generating enough renewable energy to power every home in the country by 2027 - ten years after she would hypothetically take office.
    Though aides said the rollout was just the start, the plan had gaping holes on issues like Keystone and arctic drilling.