On Tuesday, after months of refusing to answer conclusively one way or the other, Hillary Clinton said that she opposed the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. During an event in Iowa (where else?), Clinton said, "I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone XL pipeline as what I believe it is: A distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change, and, unfortunately from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward and deal with other issues. Therefore, I oppose it."
Clinton had been criticized heavily for her stark refusal to come down on either side of the pipeline, which is yet to be officially approved or rejected by the United States. President Obama, as well as environmentalists who fear the long-term effects of the oil pipeline in Nebraska, have openly opposed construction of the fourth phrase the pipeline, citing geographical concerns. When asked, Clinton said that her recent tenure as secretary of state created a conflict of interest if she commented on the pipeline. Outcry about Clinton not publicly commenting on the issue reached fever pitch over the summer, however. Eventually, Clinton agreed to clarify her personal position — and the one she would seek to enact as president if elected in 2016.