Americans favour Keystone XL pipeline: Poll

Russ Girling, president and CEO of TransCanada, talks about the Keystone XL pipeline during the...

Russ Girling, president and CEO of TransCanada, talks about the Keystone XL pipeline during the company's annual general meeting in Calgary April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Todd Korol

Jessica Murphy, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

It seems the majority of Americans are in favour of building the proposed the Alberta-Texas Keystone XL pipeline.

A recent poll published by the Washington Post newspaper indicates Americans are firmly behind energy infrastructure giant TransCanada's plan to ship 700,000 barrels a day of Alberta bitumen to Gulf Coast refineries.

Just over 60% of registered voters polled said the government should approve the building of the pipeline. Along party lines, that broke down to 48% support among registered Democrats and 82% among Republican supporters.

A full 82% of registered voters polled said they believed it would create jobs, while a minority ­ 34% - were concerned the project would harm the environment.

In January, President Barack Obama punted a decision on the controversial pipeline until 2013 ­ after this year's presidential elections - sparking an immediate reaction from the federal Conservative government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper began pitching Alberta crude to energy-hungry Asian economies and his government launched a streamlined environmental review to help speed Canadian pipeline projects like Enbridge's Northern Gateway through the process.

Last month, Obama also received a sound chiding by a Canadian and an American academic in the prominent Foreign Affairs magazine for nixing the Keystone XL decision.

They pointed to Obama's refusal to green-light the project as a key event in what they view as an unravelling relationship between the two countries.

"Obama's choice marked a triumph of campaign posturing over pragmatism and diplomacy, and it brought U.S.-Canadian relations to their lowest point in decades," they write.

Critics don't want the pipeline built because they say oil from Alberta is dirty and worry a spill along way would wreak environmental havoc.

The project has been in review for over three years.

A random U.S. sample of 1,002 adults were surveyed between June 14 and June 17 for the telephone poll. Results have a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.


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