Fans and opponents waiting to hear Hillary Clinton’s position on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will have to keep biding their time as her new book, despite stretching to some 600 pages, doesn’t mention the project.
Keystone is nowhere in the detailed index of the book, Hard Choices, a memoir of her time as secretary of State, which comes out Tuesday. And the pipeline goes unmentioned in a chapter devoted to climate change and second one on jobs and energy, according to sections obtained by the National Journal.
Because the pipeline, which would run from Alberta, Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast, crosses an international border, Clinton’s State Department had purview over its approval.
Her book’s 32-page-long index, which contains hundreds of entries ranging from hot-button topics like “Bergdahl, Bowe” to obscure ones like the “Myitsone Dam project” in Burma skips from “Key, John” to “Khalifa, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al” with no mention of Keystone.
Chapter 21, titled “Climate Change: We’re All in This Together,” details Clinton’s commitment to addressing global warming, which she writes is both a “significant national security threat and a major test of American leadership.” In Chapter 22, called “Jobs and Energy: A Level Playing Field,” Clinton writes that the U.S. needs to be a global leader in clean energy. Neither chapter mentions the controversial pipeline.
Clinton’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
During a March speaking appearance in Vancouver, former Canadian Ambassador to the United States Frank McKenna tried to ask Clinton about the pipeline. “No comment,” she replied, explaining that it would be improper for her to comment on a decision still pending before State.
As secretary of State, Clinton mostly stayed quiet on the project while it was making its way through the formal approval process. But in October 2010, just as environmental groups were stepping up their fight against Keystone, Clinton told the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco that State was “inclined” to approve the pipeline “for several reasons.” Until the U.S. can scale up clean-energy alternatives, she explained, “we’re either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada.”
Clinton’s State Department urged against approval in January of 2012, but cited the short approval time frame Congress imposed on the department rather than the underlying merits of the project. After numerous delays, Clinton stepped down from State before the pipeline was approved, and it is still pending before Secretary of State John Kerry’s department today.
Even before her book came out, Clinton came under pressure from green groups to come out against the pipeline. A coalition of 30 groups fighting Keystone, which they believe would contribute to climate change, wrote an open letter last month asking the former secretary of State to join their efforts. “Given your long-standing advocacy for the environment and the importance of battling the climate crisis, your involvement would lend an important voice to the struggle against this dangerous pipeline.”
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