Hillary Clinton casts doubt on Arctic oil drilling in a rare break from Obama

hillaryHillary Clinton said she’s “skeptical” of oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, a split from President Obama on one high-profile environmental issue even as she refuses to take a position on another: construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

“I have doubts about whether we should continue drilling in the Arctic,” Clinton told New Hampshire station NH1 in an interview that posted late Tuesday night. “And I don’t think it is a necessary part of our overall clean energy climate change agenda. I will be talking about drilling in general but I am skeptical about whether we should give the go ahead to drill in the Arctic.”

The Obama administration recently approved some exploratory drilling off the Alaskan coast, a move that frustrated environmentalists. Some of them have also been critical of Clinton for not being bolder in her proposals to fight climate change, the first of which she unveiled earlier this week.

Clinton’s comments are an unusual break from Obama.

She has been steadfast in refusing to say whether she supports or opposes the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which is under review by the administration.

Republicans have pushed hard to build the Canada-U.S. pipeline, while environmentalists have gone all out to stop.

She once again refused to take a stand on Tuesday, telling a voter at a New Hampshire town hall that she didn’t want to “second-guess” President Obama and that she’ll answer his question “If it’s undecided when I become president.”

On other issues that split Democrats, Clinton has offered qualified support of the administration — like she did on the nuclear deal with Iran — or some guarded criticism, like she’s done on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade deal she’s also refused to take a stand on.