After years of refusing to take a stand, Hillary Clinton said yesterday that she opposes the Keystone Pipeline.  It has been widely noted that Clinton made the announcement when the hoopla about Pope Francis' visit was in full swing, perhaps with an eye to minimizing coverage of her decision.

National Journal reports:

Ac­cord­ing to a copy of her re­marks provided by her cam­paign, Clin­ton said, “I think it is im­per­at­ive that we look at the Key­stone Pipeline as what I be­lieve it is—a dis­trac­tion from the im­port­ant work we have to do to com­bat cli­mate change, and un­for­tu­nately, from my per­spect­ive, one that in­ter­feres with our abil­ity to move for­ward to deal with all the oth­er is­sues. There­fore, I op­pose it.”

Clin­ton’s an­swer came in re­sponse to a ques­tion from a Drake Uni­versity stu­dent who said that cli­mate change was an im­port­ant is­sue for her, and that she op­posed the Key­stone XL pipeline be­cause of it.

The rev­el­a­tion of her po­s­i­tion in Iowa will likely help the Demo­crat­ic White House can­did­ate cor­ral sup­port among green act­iv­ists, but the pro­ject is sup­por­ted by a large num­ber of labor uni­ons, an­oth­er key part of the Demo­crat­ic base. Speak­ing to jobs spe­cific­ally Tues­day, Clin­ton said she wants to im­ple­ment a policy that would “put thou­sands of Amer­ic­ans to work” fix­ing old, leaky pipelines and re­pair­ing rail­cars, rail beds, and rail tracks that cur­rently trans­port oil. She said there are “a lot more jobs, from my per­spect­ive, on a North Amer­ic­an clean en­ergy agenda than you would ever get from one pipeline cross­ing the bor­der.”

Tran­sCanada Corp.’s pro­posed mult­i­bil­lion-dol­lar pro­ject to bring crude oil from Al­berta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast re­finer­ies re­mains un­der Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion re­view, but Pres­id­ent Obama has made sev­er­al com­ments crit­ic­al of the pro­ject, fuel­ing wide­spread ex­pect­a­tion that he’ll ul­ti­mately re­ject it.

Clin­ton’s team tipped off the White House that she was about to come out in op­pos­i­tion to the pro­ject, a cam­paign aide said. “The White House was briefed on Clin­ton’s po­s­i­tion on the Key­stone pro­ject pri­or to her com­ments today,” the aide said.

This announcement dashes any lingering belief that Mrs. Clinton, if elected president, would be more like her husband, who often took steps that were aimed at allowing the economy to prosper,  even if not ideologically pure, than like Barack Obama.