Strong support for Keystone in the US: poll

US citizens value energy security over action on climate change, a view that translates into broad support for TransCanada’s (TSX,NYSE:TRP) proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, a poll released Monday suggests.

“Americans are obsessed over a stable supply of energy,” says Canadian pollster Nik Nanos, who conducted the research at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

“The research indicates that although both Americans and Canadians believe that reducing greenhouse gases is important, energy security, particularly in the US, is driving views on energy issues,” Nanos writes in his blog.

63% of surveyed Americans said it is more important to eliminate imported oil from outside North America than it is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In comparison, only 55% of Canadians think alike.

Consistent with that view, 74% of US respondents voiced support for approval of the Keystone XL project, which is now under review by the Obama administration.

The US State Department has a Monday deadline for comments on its draft environmental-impact statement, which argued the pipeline in itself would not contribute to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

This new study considered the answer of 1,007 Americans and 1,013 Canadians, which elicited their views on energy and environmental issues and on the controversial pipeline. Nanos said his results are accurate within 3.1 percentage points.

Image by The U.S. National Archives