Even Hillary Clinton Thinks Arctic Drilling 'Not Worth the Risk'

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Even Hillary Clinton Thinks Arctic Drilling 'Not Worth the Risk'

But candidate's positions on other key climate issues remain nebulous

Jumping aboard an increasingly popular bandwagon, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday made her clearest statement yet against drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska.

The tweet came one day after the administration of President Barack Obama granted Shell the final permit it needed to drill deep into the waters off the Alaskan coast—a move that stoked the outrage of green groups nationwide. 

While Clinton expressed "skepticism" about Arctic drilling less than a month ago, her position appears to have evolved since then. The Hill reports: "Her clarified position is likely to bolster her standing among greens, some of whom have previously questioned her focus on environmental issues."

But her stances on other key climate issues, such as construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, remain nebulous.

Clinton's rivals for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, have clearly stated their opposition to Arctic drilling.

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Meanwhile, one of Clinton's leading opponents on the Republican side took to Twitter to express an alternate viewpoint:

As Reuters points out, "Arctic drilling is sure to be a contentious issue in the presidential campaign as more Arctic lease sales are scheduled for 2016 and 2017."

Clinton joins scores of scientists and climate activists who oppose drilling in the pristine northern region. On Tuesday, the online advocacy group Care2 announced that it has collected more than a quarter of a million signatures for a petition calling on Obama to reject oil and natural gas exploration and drilling in the Arctic Ocean. 

Of the administration's position thus far, Care2 founder and CEO Randy Paynter said: "The current decision communicates that our coasts and wildlife are not a priority to our nation's leaders, who are seriously sacrificing our pristine Arctic environment for short-term gains."

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