The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

More Evidence of the Keystone XL Consensus

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 1, 2012

New polling on the Keystone XL pipeline shows consensus in America isn’t always elusive. The United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection survey shows 64 percent of those polled believe the Keystone XL should be built:

“Even constituencies that are usually more likely to choose protecting the environment over promoting economic growth are, at this point, supportive of the project. A majority of Democrats, 51 percent, said they support building the pipeline, while just one-third opposed it. Sixty percent of those who live in urban areas said they back building the pipeline. Even 60 percent of respondents ages 18 to 29 support it.”

Here’s the National Journal’s chart, showing the different demographic splits:

Those are eye-opening numbers – consistent with a Rasmussen Reports poll earlier this year – that span the breadth of America in terms of age, sex, race, education, party affiliation and income. They’re numbers that should persuade President Obama to reconsider his decision to put off the $7 billion, shovel-ready project until after this fall’s elections. National Journal:

“The overwhelming majority of Americans surveyed—64 percent—agreed that building a pipeline from Canada to the United States would ease America’s dependence on Mideast oil and create jobs, the poll showed. Just 22 percent of respondents agreed with opponents of the controversial pipeline, who fear its environmental impact, and 13 percent were undecided.”

The president’s State of the Union address last week included a call for more domestic oil and natural gas production. The Keystone XL would be an integral part of that, getting American resources – including oil sands crude from Canada and crude from the increasingly productive Bakken region in North Dakota – to U.S. refiners.

Delaying the pipeline delays 20,000 U.S. jobs that would be created during the project’s construction phase. It delays nearly 500,000 U.S. jobs that could be created by 2035 under a strategy that fully utilizes Canada’s oil sands. It delays the more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day that the pipeline could deliver – delaying an energy-security scenario in which 100 percent of our liquid fuel needs could be supplied domestically and from Canada by 2024. Most pointedly, as the Congressional Connection poll shows, delay keeps the White House at odds with most Americans.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.