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Tipsheet

Hillary Pressures White House to Make Keystone Pipeline Decision

Remember the Keystone XL Pipeline? Hillary Clinton is trying to jog President Obama's memory. Thursday, the Democrat presidential candidate pressured the Obama administration to make a decision as to whether they are going to give the project their blessing before she provides American voters with her own perspective:

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“I have been waiting for the administration to make a decision. I thought I owed them that,” Clinton said during a town hall at the Concord Boys and Girls Club, when asked by a female voter about the multi-billion dollar pipeline that runs from Canada to the Gulf Coast. "I can’t wait too much longer. I am putting the White House on notice. I am going to tell you what I think soon.”

For a refresher, the Keystone pipeline is a 1,179-mile oil pipeline operated by TransCanada that will run from the Gulf Coast to Canada. It will bring needed infrastructure to oil producers, as well as thousands of jobs and and increased energy independence, its website claims. As she considers the best route to take, Hillary will need to decide if she is going to cater to the environmentally-conscious crowd, who worry the pipeline's fuel, tar sands oil, will wreak havoc on the ecosystems in its path. The Friends of the Earth lay out their concerns here. Or, will she favor labor unions, who are expecting the pipeline to provide thousands of people with work. Both are key demographics for the Democrat Party and not exactly groups a presidential contender would want to tick off.

Hillary is unlikely to get any help from President Obama as she prepares to ready her answer. He has avoided providing any indication as to whether his administration will give the pipeline project the greenlight. This, despite a State Department report that concluded the pipeline would have "minimal" impact on the environment. Thus, why Hillary's hands appear to be tied. The best hint we have so far in regards to her stance, is a dismissive answer she gave a voter while campaigning in New Hampshire in July: "If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question."

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Perhaps in an effort to seem more transparent, Hillary's team has decided this policy answer needs to come sooner rather than later. After all, her Democrat opponents Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders have made it very clear where they stand on the pipeline: They strongly oppose it.

Will she or won't she?

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