A strong majority of Americans support the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, several recent polls show. The Keystone pipeline would allow U.S. consumers access to abundant Canadian oil produced from western Canada oil sands. Some environmental activist groups oppose the pipeline, arguing use of the oil will amplify global warming.
Fifteen, 20, and 35 Percent Margins
USA Today commissioned a poll by Stanford University and Resources for the Future on Americans’ opinions regarding the Keystone pipeline. The January 2014 poll found 56 percent favored building the pipeline and only 41 percent opposed it.
The USA Today poll followed other recent polls reflecting similarly strong support for the pipeline. A December 2013 Bloomberg poll found 56 percent of Americans support the pipeline and only 36 percent oppose it. A September 2013 Pew Research poll found 65 percent of Americans support building the pipeline versus only 30 percent opposing it.
Opinion Defies Activism
Environmental activist groups have targeted the Keystone pipeline as one of their highest priorities, seeking to block the Canadian oil from entering the United States. Marita Noon, executive director of Energy Makes American Great, notes public support is defying activist money on the issue.
“Despite a herculean effort by environmentalists, and billionaire activists like Tom Steyer, to turn public opinion against the Keystone pipeline, these polls show Americans can still think for themselves,” said Noon.
Noon pointed out support for the Keystone pipeline also defies national media sympathetic to environmental activists who oppose energy development. USA Today, for example, titled its article announcing the 15 point margin of support for the Keystone pipeline as “Slight majority backs Keystone pipeline.”
Karen Dove ([email protected]) is a freelance writer in Bradenton, Florida.