Speaking in Iowa this afternoon, Hillary Clinton finally unveiled her stance on the ever-contentious Keystone Pipeline — she opposes it.

Clinton teased her big Keystone reveal in New Hampshire, to a mostly empty town hall forum Thursday night:

According to CNN Political Producer Dan Merica, Clinton cited the Keystone Pipeline as a “distraction from important work on climate change.”

350 Action is an organization dedicated to “putting climate action on the political agenda” Thrilled with Hillary’s rebuffing of Keystone, 350 Action said, “her position on Keystone should set an important precedent for her policies going forward: we cannot afford to approve projects that make climate change worse.”

But the timing of her announcement? After months of being asked the exact.same.question, Hillary finally decided to tell-all, at the very moment Pope Francis arrived in the United States. Gee. How convenient. Eric Bradner and Dan Merica of CNN write:

The Democratic 2016 front-runner announced her opposition to the project — which is still the subject of a years-long State Department review — as Pope Francis landed in the United States, dominating national media attention.

…Clinton has repeatedly been asked about Keystone on the campaign trail but has never answered directly.

“I am not going to second guess (President Barack Obama) because I was in a position to set this in motion,” Clinton said at a July event in New Hampshire. “I want to wait and see what he and Secretary Kerry decide.”

At the same event, she later added, “If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.”

And throughout much of 2013 and 2014, Clinton criss-crossed the country on the paid speaking circuit and later on her book tour. She was asked about Keystone a number of times, particularly in Canada, where the pipeline would originate. At no point did she take a position, however.

Why wait until Friday when hiding behind the Pope-in-America media blitz is an option on Tuesday?

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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