At an event in Iowa this week, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton finally shed some light on her feelings about a controversial environmental issue: the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed project would see a massive pipeline leading from the Alberta tar sands in Canada south to the Gulf of Mexico, and critics have grave concerns about the environmental impact of such an enormous pipeline. For the first time, Clinton revealed that she is opposed to the project, saying it would distract from the fight against climate change.

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Previously, Clinton kept her stance on the project hush-hush, claiming it would be inappropriate to voice her opinion, given her former position as a member of President Barack Obama’s administration. She must have realized that her road back to the White House would be blocked without airing her feelings, and she finally admitted to a student at Drake University in Des Moines that she opposes the Keystone XL proposal.

Specifically, Clinton called the pipeline “a distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change” and she went on to say, “Therefore, I oppose it and I oppose It because I don’t think it’s in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change.” Clinton followed this up with a post to her Facebook page, which reads, “Time to invest in a clean energy future—not build a pipeline to carry our continent’s dirtiest fuel across the US. I oppose Keystone XL. -H” (The ‘H’ is meant to indicate that the post was written by the woman herself, as opposed to one of her staffers.)

Related: Senate fails to override Obama’s Keystone XL veto

Other presidential candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have already been clear about opposing the pipeline due to environmental concerns, although other Democrats in the running have been tight-lipped on the issue so far. Predictably, most Republican hopefuls have publicly supported the Keystone XL proposals. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, for one, would like to see the pipeline built, while simultaneously restricting the expansion of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Since Clinton’s announcement comes after months of refusing to discuss her stance, many feel the admission will prove to be a landmark event, not only in Clinton’s campaign, but also for the future of the Keystone XL project. Obama has already vetoed the bill, and the Senate failed to override that executive action. Although proponents for the project are still pushing forward, Clinton’s public opposition may inspire Obama to take an even more aggressive stance in squashing the pipeline plans in an effort to pave the way for another Democrat to move into the Oval Office.

Via The Guardian

Images via Marc Nozell/Flickr and TransCanada