The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Poll: Keystone XL Approval is in National Interest

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 12, 2013

U.S. voters continue to support approval of the full Keystone XL pipeline by strong, bipartisan majorities. A new Harris Interactive survey of 1,025 registered voters found that 72 percent agree it is in the United States’ national interest to approve the Keystone XL so it can deliver North American oil to U.S. refineries. In poll after poll, Americans have said: Build the Keystone XL.

The breakdown on the Keystone XL/national interest question posed by Harris:


Harris found solid support for the Keystone XL across age, gender and party affiliation categories. To another question, 83 percent supported increased development of the nation’s energy infrastructure, and nearly 90 percent agreed that increased energy infrastructure development is beneficial for consumers. Other results:

  • 93 percent agree that increased development of America’s energy infrastructure would help create U.S. jobs.
  • 89 percent agree that development of the nation’s energy infrastructure would help strengthen U.S. energy security.
  • 63 percent support importing more oil from Canada, should the U.S. continue to need imported oil.

Cindy Schild, API’s downstream operations senior manager, refining and oil sands, discussed the poll results with reporters:

“As early as 2024, the U.S. could have the ability to supply 100 percent of our liquid fuel needs from right here in North America. The Keystone XL pipeline is a vital link toward achieving that goal and a crucial component of the infrastructure development America needs in order to enhance our energy security and capitalize on employment gains and economic growth opportunities promised by our new energy reality.”

Schild said America’s energy transportation system was originally designed to move crude oil import inland from the Gulf Coast. But that has flipped. Shipments of crude from the Gulf to the Midwest dropped 500,000 barrels per day from 2008 to 2013 while shipments in the opposite direction increased by 330,000 barrels per day, she said. Schild:

“With imports decreasing and production skyrocketing in new, more remote areas, updating our infrastructure is essential for preventing bottlenecks and for ensuring Canadian and domestic oil and natural gas are most efficiently transported to market. The failure to invest in the pipelines, storage, processing, rail and marine components needed to meet our new energy reality creates growth constraints, which costs our economy jobs and money.”

The Keystone XL would be a vital part of an energy infrastructure plan. It would be able to deliver 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada’s oil sands region and the U.S. Bakken oil fields to Gulf Coast refineries. It would strengthen the U.S. energy partnership with Canada, our No. 1 source of imported oil, and make our country more energy secure.

As Keystone XL polling has consistently shown, Americans believe the Keystone XL pipeline would bring benefits in terms of jobs and energy. It’s an integral part of a strategy to capitalize on North American energy resources. Schild:

“Building up our energy infrastructure is a necessity if we hope to realize the full potential of our vast energy resources. Our current pipeline infrastructure was built well before surging production in North Dakota and northeastern states transformed the energy landscape – and reversed the trajectory of our transportation needs.”


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.