Poll Finds Public Support for Building Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone Pipeline
National Journal
Ben Geman
March 7, 2014, 2:33 a.m.

A new poll shows that about two-thirds of U.S. adults be­lieve the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion should ap­prove the Key­stone XL pipeline.

The Wash­ing­ton Post/ABC News poll re­leased Fri­day finds 65 per­cent sup­port for the pro­ject, while 22 per­cent of adults polled op­pose it and 13 per­cent had no opin­ion.

Forty-sev­en per­cent of re­spond­ents be­lieve the pro­ject would pose a “sig­ni­fic­ant” risk to the en­vir­on­ment, and 85 per­cent say it would cre­ate a “sig­ni­fic­ant” num­ber of jobs.

Demo­crats are split on the pipeline to bring oil sands crude from Al­berta, Canada, to Gulf Coast re­finer­ies; there’s heavy Re­pub­lic­an sup­port for it, and a clear ma­jor­ity of in­de­pend­ents back the pro­ject too.

The poll con­duc­ted in late Feb­ru­ary and early March shows that 51 per­cent of Demo­crats back Key­stone, com­pared with 82 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans and 65 per­cent of in­de­pend­ents.

The over­all sup­port level — 65 per­cent — is con­sist­ent with sev­er­al Pew Re­search Cen­ter polls con­duc­ted in 2013, while some­what high­er than the 59 per­cent sup­port in a mid-2012 Wash­ing­ton Post poll.

The new polling ar­rives as the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is get­ting closer to a de­cision on Tran­sCanada’s pro­posed pipeline.

A largely fa­vor­able State De­part­ment en­vir­on­ment­al ana­lys­is re­leased in late Janu­ary touched off a 90-day peri­od of in­put from oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies as State weighs wheth­er the pro­ject is in the “na­tion­al in­terest.”

But there’s no dead­line for a fi­nal de­cision from Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry and the White House.

The Post/ABC News poll’s over­all mar­gin of er­ror was plus or minus 3.5 per­cent­age points.

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