Half of Democrats favor Keystone pipeline

WASHINGTON — Nearly half of Democrats favor granting a permit for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center for the People &the Press.

The $5.3 billion pipeline, which would ship oil from Hardisty, Canada, to Steele City, Neb., has undergone five years of reviews to get a presidential permit needed for infrastructure projects that cross a United States border. Environmentalists and some major Democratic donors and activists have opposed the pipeline, contending it would worsen greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.

President Barack Obama has said he would make a decision on the permit in the coming months. Democratic backing for the project could make it more difficult for Obama to turn down the permit in a difficult election year for the party.

The Pew poll showed that, despite the work of anti-pipeline activists, support for the project has remained solid, especially among Republicans and independents. Backers of the pipeline have argued that it would create jobs and secure more oil from a friendly, democratic country.

Overall, 61 percent of respondents favor building the pipeline, while 27 percent are opposed, a proportion that has held steady for the last year or so, according to Pew. About 49 percent of Democrats back the pipeline and 38 percent oppose it. The remaining 13 percent said they did not know.

The poll was conducted from Feb. 27 to March 16 among 3,335 adults, with a margin of error of 2.0 percentage points.

Previous polls also showed that Democrats backed the project by small margins. But this poll also revealed the demographic lines along which Democratic views on Keystone XL broke down.

Democrats who had a college degree or more education were more likely to oppose it, 47 percent against the project versus 39 percent for it. Those with annual household incomes greater than $100,000 were most opposed, at 51 percent.

Democrats who had some college, a high school diploma or less favored the project. The poorest Democrats, whose annual income was $50,000 or less, favored the project most, at 54 percent.

Those Democrats who identified as liberals were more prone to be against the project than moderates and conservatives.

The majority of Democratic men and pluralities of women, blacks and whites all support granting the project the permit.

More in Local News

Food stuffs for a local chapter of A Simple Gesture at Fitness Evolution, the communal pick-up point, in Arlington on Jan. 12. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
There’s an easier way to donate to food banks

Grab a green bag, fill it gradually with grocery items — and someone will pick it up from your home.

Lake Stevens man shot by deputies reportedly was suicidal

The fatal shooting is the latest incident where someone apparently wanted police to fire.

Man suspected of robbing Rite Aids

Mill Creek police released a sketch Monday evening of the suspect.

Suspect: Marysville church fire ignited by burning shoelaces

The 21-year-old told police it was an accident, but he’s under investigation for second-degree arson.

Police seek witnesses to Marysville hit-and-run

A Seattle man suffered broken bones in the accident.

Tracking device leads police to bank robbery suspect

The man walked into a Wells Fargo around 3:15 Tuesday and told the teller he had a bomb.

Mayor, others break ground on low-barrier housing in Everett

Somers: The complex is expected to save lives and “really shows the heart of this community.”

Volunteers conduct annual count of homeless population

They worked througha standard set of questions to learn why people have ended up where they are.

Most Read