Americans Say ‘Yes’ to Keystone XL

If public sentiment is a factor in the Obama admistration's final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, it's time to let the oil flow. The latest survey results are consistent with previous polls, except that the numbers in support continue to grow to even higher levels.

The United Technologies/National Journal survey says:

While the Obama administration mulls whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, Americans are already decided. They support the project by a wide margin, prioritizing potential economic benefits over possible environmental consequences.

The 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.

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.)

Economic Impacts of Where Our Energy Comes From

Having diverse sources of energy is a good thing. But the implications go far beyond the very important Indiana advantage of being a low-cost power producer.

The "other" implications will be the focus on an October 25 half-day summit titled Secure Energy: Our jobs, Our Economy, Our Future. In the words of the organizers, this event "will highlight the critical role North American petroleum and natural gas, particularly secure sources such as Canadian oil, play in America’s and Indiana’s economy."

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is the keynote speaker. Gary Doer, Canadian ambassador to the United States, will also be a presenter. Panel discussion will feature state and national experts.

The Indiana Chamber is a sponsor of the event at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Pre-registration is required. Full details available online.