09/23/2015 11:08 EDT | Updated 09/23/2016 05:12 EDT

Alberta Premier Says She And Clinton On Same Side Of Keystone XL Debate

Notley says Clinton's statement reaffirms that the project is a waste of time.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Hillary Clinton's opposition to Keystone XL reaffirms what she's long said about the controversial pipeline expansion — that advocating for the project is a waste of time.

"I was never really convinced that the people in Washington were spending a lot of time listening to what Alberta had to say," said Notley on Tuesday night after speaking to chamber of commerce members from across Alberta.

During a campaign stop in Iowa Tuesday, Clinton said she opposed the controversial pipeline project. Until now, the Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state had been cagey on whether the pipeline should be built.

Clinton said she wanted to outline her position on the controversial project now after deciding the debate over the pipeline had become a distraction to larger efforts to fight climate change.

Notley has long opposed the project, saying upgrading and refining should be done closer to home.

"I do think we need to get our product to tidewater. I'm just not convinced that getting our product down to the gulf where there's a whole bunch of cheap refining is absolutely the best strategy for an industry in Alberta when Albertans want to see focus more on upgrading and refining," she said.

Notley added that she has no desire to get involved in the U.S. election and the race to run for the White House, saying "their politics are their politics and we'll let it unfold as it will."

Clinton had previously said she wouldn't take a position on the issue, because she didn't want to interfere with the Obama administration — which was still considering whether to allow construction of a pipeline that would transport oil from Canada's oilsands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

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