A new Pew poll released this week found that a large majority of Americans (65%) continue to support Keystone XL, revealing once again that most Democrats, Republicans and Independents want the pipeline to be built. Importantly, the poll also found that in the states the pipeline would traverse – Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas – 69 percent support Keystone XL while 28 percent are opposed.
These numbers are particularly noteworthy given billionaire activist Tom Steyer’s “People in the Path” campaign. Sorry Tom, but it looks like the “people in the path” and, indeed, a majority of Americans overwhelmingly support Keystone XL. At the end of the day, the efforts of opponents like Steyer – the rallies, the Hollywood stunts, and the proliferation of misinformation – have done little to nothing to sway Americans away from a project that is so obviously a boon.
Meanwhile, this Sunday, Steyer is reportedly concluding his $1 million campaign with an ad on Keystone XL and climate change, promoting the same false information he’s been peddling for months. The question remains – will anyone even pay attention? Steyer’s last ad was essentially ignored, and his claims have already been thoroughly debunked by the Obama administration, IHS CERA, numerous editorial boards across the country and even prominent climate scientists who have said that Keystone XL will not significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, this week RBC Dominion Securities added its voice to the debate releasing a report that finds that a negative decision on Keystone XL won’t stop Canadian oil sands development.
Then last weekend, the anti-Keystone XL group 350.org organized a number of rallies – but did anyone actually show up? Globe and Mail and the Daily Caller reported that only “a few dozen” protestors gathered at the Washington DC rally, while the Des Moines Register said “about a dozen protesters turned out.”
So as turnout dwindles on the opponents’ end, polls continue to show that Americans, the “people in the path,” believe the list of reasons to build Keystone XL (to borrow a phrase from Senator Landrieu) has grown as long as the pipeline itself.