Hillary Clinton is splitting with President Obama over drilling in the Arctic Ocean, saying the president is wrong to allow Shell to explore for oil in the sensitive but potentially oil-rich region.
Clinton, Obama’s former secretary of state and the frontrunner among Democrats in the race to replace him as president, announced her position on drilling in a signed tweet.
“The Arctic is a unique treasure. Given what we know, it’s not worth the risk of drilling,” Clinton tweeted.
This comes a day after Obama on Monday approved the final permit for Shell’s hunt for oil off the northwest coast of Alaska, and shows Clinton moving to stake out a stronger position on environmental protection than the president as she runs for office.
Clinton, though, has yet to take a position on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which the State Department started reviewing when she was in charge.
Clinton’s position on drilling the Arctic Ocean drew immediate criticism from Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who tweeted that she is wrong.
“Being more anti-energy than Obama is extreme. We should embrace energy revolution to lower prices & create U.S. jobs,” Bush tweeted.
Bush is an outspoken advocate for drilling and a supporter of the Keystone pipeline, but while governor of Florida he opposed drilling off his state’s shores – a popular position in Florida.
The environmental group Alaska Wilderness Action praised Clinton’s position against Arctic Ocean drilling, saying “it is reckless and risky to move forward in a harsh and unforgiving environment.”