Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco on Friday and a questioner asked about the Clipper pipeline, but in her answer, Clinton appears to be talking about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is going through a State Dept. approval process, and appeared bogged down as Democratic lawmakers have been asking for it to be slowed down or stopped in the wake of the BP disaster. But she said the State Dept. is “inclined to sign off on it.”
Question: Another international issue that you signed in on last year was the Alberta Clipper, a pipeline from Alberta that brings tar sands, oil sands directly into Wisconsin to the U.S. Midwest. This is some of the dirtiest fuel in the world. And how can the U.S. be saying climate change is a priority when we’re mainlining some of the dirtiest fuel that exists. (Applause.)
Secretary Clinton: Well, there hasn’t been a final decision made. It is -
Question: Are you willing to reconsider it?
Secretary Clinton: Probably not. (Laughter.) And we – but we haven’t finish all of the analysis. So as I say, we’ve not yet signed off on it. But we are inclined to do so and we are for several reasons – going back to one of your original questions – we’re either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada. And until we can get our act together as a country and figure out that clean, renewable energy is in both our economic interests and the interests of our planet – (applause) – I mean, I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone how deeply disappointed the President and I are about our inability to get the kind of legislation through the Senate that the United States was seeking.
Now, that hasn’t stopped what we’re doing. We have moved a lot on the regulatory front through the EPA here at home and we have been working with a number of countries on adaptation and mitigation measures. But obviously, it was one of the highest priorities of the Administration for us to enshrine in legislation President Obama’s commitment to reducing our emissions. So we do have a lot that still must be done. And it is a hard balancing act. It’s a very hard balancing act. But it is also, for me, energy security requires that I look at all of the factors that we have to consider while we try to expedite as much as we can America’s move toward clean, renewable energy. And the double disappointment is that despite China’s resistance to transparency and how difficult it was for President Obama and I to drive even the Copenhagen Agreement that we finally got by crashing a meeting of China and India and Brazil and South Africa, which -
Question: I would have liked to have seen that one.
Secretary Clinton:Yeah, that was – (applause) – well, we – so we got the Copenhagen Agreement and China did sign up for it. But at the same time, they’re making enormous investments in clean energy technology. And if we permit that to happen, shame on us. And it is something that – (applause) – United States should be the leader in. It is one of the ways to stimulate and grow our economy – (applause) – and create good jobs. So that’s just a small window into the dilemma that we’re confronted with.
Full transcript of her remarks is here.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010