WASHINGTON — Eight out of 10 Americans support expanding the nation’s energy infrastructure, with new pipelines and other facilities to transport oil and gas across the U.S., according to an industry-backed survey released Thursday.
The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Petroleum Institute, also shows a majority of people back the Keystone XL pipeline, which would ferry Canadian oil sands crude to the Gulf Coast. Seven out of 10 people surveyed said they supported the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, with 17 percent opposed to the $5.4 billion project.
The State Department is readying a final environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, after being inundated with 1.2 million comments on a draft analysis released in March. A 2004 executive order tasks the State Department with deciding whether the border-crossing pipeline would be in the national interest, a verdict that may come next year.
Beyond Keystone XL, oil and gas industry analysts and leaders have been predicting new pipelines will be constructed and old ones will be adapted to meet today’s supply and demand picture.
The current labyrinth of North American pipelines was built decades before the current drilling boom, with much of the grid flowing to the north and east. But oil drilling in North Dakota, natural gas production in the Northeast and the zeal for natural gas liquids on the Gulf Coast have dramatically changed the dynamic.