Majority of Americans Support Keystone XL Pipeline

27 Feb

According to a new survey released by the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans (who have heard at least a little about the Keystone XL pipeline) support it:

There has been recent controversy over the building of the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands to refineries along the Gulf Coast, but the public is not following this issue very closely. Just 24% say they have heard a lot about it while another 39% have heard a little; 37% have heard nothing at all about the pipeline.

Among those who have heard at least a little, there is strong public support for building the pipeline. About two-thirds (66%) think the government should approve the building of the pipeline, while 23% say it should not be approved.

Republicans overwhelmingly support the building of the pipeline. Fully 84% say the government should approve the Keystone XL pipeline, including 88% of conservative Republicans.

Even among Democrats who have heard about the issue, a 49% plurality support the government approving the pipeline while 33% say it should not be approved. But there is a strong ideological division among Democrats; 63% of conservative and moderate Democrats support the building of the pipeline, compared with just 30% of liberal Democrats. A plurality of liberal Democrats (49%) say the pipeline should not be approved.

By a 66% to 27% margin, far more independents who have heard about the issue think the government should approve the building of the Keystone XL pipeline than say it should not be approved. Independents who lean to the Republican Party overwhelmingly support the building of the pipeline (89% say it should be approved). But Democratic-leaning independents are far more divided; 46% say it should be approved, while 45% say it should not be approved.

Do you think the government should approve the Keystone XL pipeline?

7 Responses to “Majority of Americans Support Keystone XL Pipeline”

  1. JPMajor February 27, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    I am against Keystone for the main reasons that 1. it has the potential to negatively affect some very pristine ecological environments in North America for vast distances, and 2. much of the jobs that the project has been touted to create along its route are short-term, outsourced jobs. Long-term employment will be limited to only several hundred jobs at most, especially considering it will be bringing oil to already-existing refineries (in other words, it’s not like they will be building any more — or making new jobs there — to process all the tarsands oil.) This is a project that is intended to only make the rich richer. Any promises of trickle-down (including lower oil prices for the consumer) are red herrings.

    Surprisingly, even though it’s being blocked by the White House, TransCanada is moving along with buying up pipeline property, at least in Texas it is. TC is having land condemned and revalued so they can buy it up cheap… in some cases without even consulting the landowners! The whole business of this thing stinks, and not just of crude.

  2. Patrick Logan February 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    This is way oversimplified. Do the majority of approvers believe this is guaranteed to lower oil costs in the U.S.? Do the majority of approvers believe this will have a neutral effect on the environment? Do the majority of approvers believe this will have a long-term increase in good jobs in the U.S.

    There’s not much value to be derived from this poll, as it has been presented.

  3. grcg February 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    If the project comes up with all the requested data and meets all requirements and passes all the permitting processes, then YES – it should be approved.

    And anyone that tries to gut or trivialize those processes ought to be first on-call for the next petroleum spill w/o a hazmat suit.

    We as a nation ought to be stepping up to the plate for responsibly attending to our own energy needs. Not relying on others that don’t have us or the environments health in mind.

    And a healthy percentage of the royalties acquired from this pipeline should go to a fund to research and develop other energy sources.

  4. Florian Schach February 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Its no surprise that the Pipeline has gained so much support. It’s not as though 20,000 jobs with the potential to create some more opportunities is exactly an undesirable byproduct. Even though we’ve heard someone say 20,000 jobs isn’t a lot, I’d have to disagree. 20,000 of anything is a lot and enough to help spur either more jobs on the same project or something that can be in conjunction with those already hired to work on it (http://bit.ly/ytP77z). I just think it needs a bit more consideration before it’s sent away completely.

  5. jim March 13, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    I strongly support keystone. While it may be appropriate to reroute the pipeline around sandhills, the concern over spills and aquifer contamination are massively overblown.

    Keystone’s projected jobs numbers are probably too high. On the other hand, the project will create new permenant jobs and support existing ones. Those jobs will be along the pipeline route, in refineries, and in finance, shipping and transportation.

    Activists are working hard to downplay the downward affect tar sands oil would have on world oil prices. It may take a while, but an outlet for tar sands oil to world markets will definately have a downward impact on world oil prices.

    Enviro concerns regarding CO2 have also been blown into comic proportions by both enviro activists and some research scientists.

    There’s no serious reason not too move the project forward with appropriate oversight and protections.

  6. kraut March 23, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Oil from Canada to the US is sold at a 30% discount at present.
    Given that fact it makes more sense to sell Oil from Canada to over seas markets like the Pacific asian trading partners.
    30% less means also a cut in the taxes received from the sales of oil amounting to 100′s of million lost to tax funded programs.

    By all means, I support not constructing the pipeline to the US, but am in favour of a line to the west coast to markets who really need and pay fair prices for our products

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Survey Says – Americans Support Keystone XL Pipeline : Global Energy Matters - April 25, 2012

    [...] to Sheril Kirshenbaum at Culture of Science for bringing this report to the author’s [...]

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