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Keystone XL Pipeline Project Pros, Cons and Facts: Recent Poll Shows More Americans On Board

First Posted: Mar 08, 2014 09:41 AM EST
Barack Obama voices hope that Congress will see past party lines

During the last few years, environmentalists, activists and some landowners have protested the Keystone XL pipeline extension from Alberta, Canada's oil sands to Port Arthur, Texas because of fear that it could it cause environmentally degrade the farmlands in the Midwest.

Environmentalists also fear that if President Barack Obama approves the extension, it will make it harder for the country to wean itself off of fossil fuels while continuing to exacerbate climate change instead of shifting to more sustainable energy.

However, according to the most recent survey conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, 65 percent of Americans polled are in favor of the extension, while 22 percent are opposed.

According to an earlier Pew Research Center poll cited earlier by Washington Post, last year only 66 percent of Americans supported the project while 23 percent opposed it.

The recent increase of approval comes from the belief that the pipeline project will create a significant number of jobs. Despite the fact that 85 percent of the people interviewed say it will create much-needed jobs in the country, 47 percent of all people surveyed believe the Keystone XL poses a substantial risk to the environment.

While nearly half of Americans agree that the extension could create an environmental threat, according to the poll, the majority of participants said this is the safest alternative to receiving oil because it would come from an ally.

President Obama has faced the dilemma of upsetting numerous Americans with either choice since his first term as the leader of the Free World.

The highest amount of support for the extension comes primarily from Republicans with an 82 percent approval rate, however, 65 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats also support it.

The State Department estimated that the extension would create nearly 2,000 jobs during a two-year period.

The 1,664-mile pipeline extension is projected to bring in 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

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