The latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds that more than two-thirds of respondents, 67 percent, support building the pipeline to carry Canadian oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast; that includes 56 percent of Democrats. Less than a quarter of Americans, 24 percent, oppose the project, the poll shows.
The State Department is evaluating the proposal, and President Obama said last month that the pipeline should not be permitted if it leads to a significant increase in greenhouse-gas emissions. There is no timeline for a decision, but the State Department says it is evaluating the project in “a rigorous, transparent, and efficient manner.”
In the question posed by interviewers, poll respondents were told that Keystone supporters “say it will ease America’s dependence on Mideast oil and create jobs,” while opponents “fear the environmental impact” of building the pipeline. Specific environmental impacts, such as emissions and the risk of spills, were not enumerated as part of the question.
Congressional Republicans have been prodding the administration to approve Keystone, with the GOP House holding a symbolic vote in support of the pipeline in May. (That measure won unanimous support from Republicans, save for one member who voted “present,” while 19 Democrats also voted in favor.)