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Survey says: Most Americans back Keystone XL

Jennifer A. Dlouhy
March 22, 2012

A majority of Americans want the U.S. government to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, according to a Gallup poll released today.

According to the nationwide survey, 57 percent of Americans believe the government should permit construction of the pipeline, which would transport oil sands crude from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

While support is strongest among Republicans — with roughly eight in 10 supporting the project — 44 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents also said they wanted to see the pipeline built.

The survey results were delivered as President Barack Obama heads to a pipe yard in Cushing, Okla., where he is set to push for speedy permitting and construction of Keystone XL’s roughly 500-mile southern leg. Administration officials said that segment, which would run from Cushing to the Gulf Coast, is essential to relieving a major bottleneck of oil, now landlocked in the Midwest.

Obama also is issuing an executive order that would fast-track federal agency approvals for the southern portion of the pipeline. But his move will not affect TransCanada Corp.’s currently stalled plans to build other segments of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline over the U.S.-Canada border.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration rejected a cross-border permit for that northern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying it needed more study, including an environmental analysis of the proposed route through ecologically sensitive areas of Nebraska.

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