27 September 2013

Americans support Keystone

Prime Minister Harper was talking tough about the Keystone XL pipeline this week. On a visit to New York, he told the Canadian American Business Council that he wouldn't take no for an answer. His bravado may have been bolstered by a recent Pew Research Center survey that showed two-thirds of Americans support the pipeline. Even most Democrats are on side.

All fossil fuel initiatives do not fare so well. For example, more Americans now oppose the increased use of fracking than support it, and a solid majority support stricter emission controls on power plants. Almost 60 per cent say it is more important to develop alternative energy sources while only a third say expanding exploration and production of oil, coal and natural gas is the more important priority.

Majorities of two-thirds to three-quarters support requiring better vehicle fuel efficiency, federal funding for alternative energy research and more spending on mass transit. All good news.

Not so good about that support for Keystone, though. Those Canadians who oppose the pipeline, myself included, simply have to face the unfortunate fact that most Americans are on the Prime Minister's side on this one.

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