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New High: 61% Favor Building the Keystone XL Pipeline

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Support for building the Keystone XL pipeline is now at its highest level ever.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% of Likely U.S. Voters now at least somewhat favor building the major oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, while just 27% are opposed. This includes 37% who Strongly Favor the project and 10% who Strongly Oppose it. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Support for building the pipeline is up four points from 57% in January and now has edged above the previous high of 60% found in November 2011 when President Obama first delayed the project for further environmental study. 

Sixty-two percent (62%) believe it will be good for the U.S. economy if the pipeline is built. That’s up from 56% at the beginning of the year and also a new high. Unchanged are the 10% who think the pipeline will be bad for the economy. Twelve percent (12%) say it will have no impact, while 16% are not sure.

Thirty-two percent (32%) think the pipeline will be bad for the environment. But 54% disagree, with 13% who feel it will be good for the environment and 41% who say it will have no environmental impact. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters say the pipeline is at least somewhat important to how they will vote in the next congressional election, with 23% who say it is Very Important. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say the Keystone project is not important to their vote, including 11% who say it is Not at All Important.

The Obama administration announced last Friday that it is delaying a decision on building the Keystone pipeline until after the Nebraska Supreme Court rules on a legal challenge. Supporters of the Keystone project claim the administration is deliberately postponing the decision until after Election Day.

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 21-22, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Two-out-of-three voters (65%) believe the United States does not do enough to develop its own gas and oil resources

A plurality (46%) of voters continues to think it is possible to build the Keystone pipeline in a way that doesn’t significantly damage the environment, but support for that position has steadily deteriorated from 57% in November 2011.

Men and those 40 and over are stronger believers in building the Keystone project and in its economic benefits than women and younger voters are.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either major project favor building the Keystone pipeline, but just 42% of Democrats agree. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of GOP voters and 56% of unaffiliateds say the pipeline is important to their vote in the next congressional election, a view shared by 47% of Democrats.

Forty-three percent (43%) of all voters who Strongly Favor building the Keystone pipeline say it is Very Important to their vote in November. Among voters in the smaller group who Strongly Oppose the pipeline, 37% rate it Very Important to their vote.

Mainstream voters and those in the Political Class are in general agreement about building the pipeline, but Political Class voters are twice as likely as the others to view the project as bad for the environment.

Opponents of the pipeline strongly believe it will bad for the environment. Supporters tend to think building the Keystone project will have no environmental impact.

Half (49%) of all voters continue to believe there is a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection. Just 28% disagree.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Americans rate the quality of the environment in the United States as good or excellent, but 41% think it’s getting worse. Just 24% think the environment’s getting better.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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