Hillary says we'll have to elect her to find out where she stands on Keystone XL pipeline

The author of Hard Choices, former secretary of state, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose State Department has given multiple environmental “thumbs up” to the Keystone XL pipeline, refuses to make one on the project.  She has instead adopted the Nancy Pelosi Obamacare stance – you’ll have to elect me to find out what I’ll do about the proposed project to bring crude from Canada’s oil sands to our Gulf Coast refineries.

At a town hall in New Hampshire Tuesday, Hillary responded to a Keystone question with Clintonian arrogance:

"I am not going to second guess [President Barack Obama] because I was in a position to set this in motion," Clinton said, 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."

She added, "If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question."

Say what?  Isn’t what you’ll do as president something we need to know beforehand, especially when it involves a project your department oversaw?  How can you say you don’t want to second-guess President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry at the same time you claim special expertise on the project, an expertise you said no other 2016 candidate has?

Clinton went on to note that she was in a position unique among the 2016 field due to her time as secretary of state. "I'm in a different position than any other candidate," Clinton said. "I was there. I put this process together. I oversaw it for four years."

Care to share your opinion of the project, Hillary?  Or is this another issue like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, on which you don’t want to make a hard choice lest it cost you support from this group or that special interest?  Maybe some donor to the Clinton Foundation might be offended?

Keystone XL puts two key Democratic constituencies Hillary will need for 2016 at odds – environmentalists and labor unions.  She is not worried about second-guessing anyone.  She is trying to be all things to all people, saying whatever she needs to say to whoever is in the room at the time. A profile in courage she is not.

Deciding in favor of Keystone would chill her global warming supporters, who apparently did not notice that, as the Daily Mail Online reports, she had traveled Monday to New Hampshire in a French-built Dassault Falcon 900B private jet, an aircraft that burns 347 gallons of fossil fuel every hour it is in the air and costs $5,850 an hour to rent.

Just hours after Hillary Clinton unveiled her presidential campaign's push to solve global warming through an aggressive carbon-cutting plan, she sauntered up the steps of a 19-seat private jet in Des Moines, Iowa.

The aircraft, a Dassault model Falcon 900B, burns 347 gallons of fuel per hour. And like all Dassault business jets, Hillary's ride was made in France.

The Trump-esque transportation costs $5,850 per hour to rent, according to the website of Executive Fliteways, the company that owns it.

And she has used the same plane before, including on at least one trip for speeches that brought her $500,000 in fees.

C’est la vie, as the French might say.  Yet, according to her own State Department reviews of Keystone XL, the pipeline project would likely have less impact on the environment than the plane she flies around in.  As Investor’s Business Daily noted,, Keystone XL would not affect greenhouse gas emissions in any meaningful way:

The State Department also found it "very unlikely" that the pipeline would affect water quality in any of the four aquifers through which it crossed. It also concluded that along one part of the proposed route, in the case of a large-scale oil spill, "these impacts would typically be limited to within several hundred feet of the release source, and would not affect groundwater." There would be no greater danger than that posed by any of the more than 50,000 existing miles of safely operating pipeline already crisscrossing the U.S., including Nebraska and the Ogallala Aquifer.

As the Heritage Foundation notes, the earlier State Department approval "concluded that the pipeline posed minimal environmental risk to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, and wildlife, and creates few greenhouse-gas emissions. Keystone XL also met 57 specific pipeline safety standard requirements created by the State Department and the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)."

The claim that the oil Keystone XL would transport would be extracted in environmentally dangerous ways was shot down by the, wait for it, State Department, which found that the oil would be extracted anyway and sent elsewhere, perhaps to China:

He (Obama) has run out of excuses after yet another State Department review released Friday found that the project would have no real impact on climate change because the Canadian crude ir would transport is going to be extracted from the oil sands if Alberta whether it is built or not.

The review found that the “approval or denial of any single project is unlikely to significantly affect the rate of extraction of the oil in the oil sands, or the refining of heavy crude on the U.S. gulf coast,” a State Department official told reporters Friday. …

The oil will be extracted whether Keystone XL is built or not.  The pipeline itself, which will also carry via a link Bakken crude from North Dakota, will create tens of thousands of high-paying union jobs.  According to the American Economic Forum, the seven-year delay on Keystone has already cost the American economy $175 billion in lost economic activity.

Endorse the pipeline, Mrs. Clinton.  It’s not that hard a choice.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.