Clinton says sustainability has to be priority

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a gathering of 10,000 advocates for green construction Thursday that sustainability must be one of the country's top priorities.

Clinton, considered an potential contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, pulled on her experience as first lady, a U.S. Senator and the nation's top diplomat during a speech in Philadelphia at a conference at a conference presented by the U.S. Green Building Council. She told the conventioneers that they should continue to talk about their ideas in hopes of swaying more people that it makes ecological and financial sense.

"At the top of any agenda about America's future, sustainability has to be viewed as one of the key goals," she said in the speech at Temple University.

She talked about how she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had windows, heaters and even light bulbs replaced to make the White House more energy efficient. As a senator, Clinton said she supported green school buildings and, as secretary of the state, required new embassies and consulates to meet environmental standards while also encouraging other countries to impose environmental regulations.

Clinton took a handful of questions, but most dealt with environmental issues. None got into whether she might run for president, or her views on the bumpy implementation of President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul.

She was asked, though, about the art of political compromise, which has been much discussed since a government shutdown last month.

"It seems as though our political debate has been taken over by a small group that doesn't believe in compromise," she said, striking a note that other politicians, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who is considering running for president in 2016, have hit recently.

"It's important not to vote for people who proudly say they will not compromise," she said.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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