By PAUL VIEIRA
A majority of Americans and Canadians back TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline and say securing a stable energy supply for North America should be a bigger priority than reducing carbon emissions, a poll released Tuesday found.
Nearly 75% of Americans and 68% of Canadians indicated they "support" or "somewhat support" the project, which would carry heavy crude from the Alberta oil sands to the US Gulf Coast for refining, according to the poll conducted by Ottawa-based Nanos Research.
The poll also asked participants -- 1,007 Americans and 1,013 Canadians -- which was more important: reducing greenhouse-gas emissions or having North America free from oil imports? Both a majority of Americans and Canadians, 63% and 55%, respectively, suggested reducing reliance on oil imports trumped environmental policy.
"Energy security, particularly in the US, is driving views on energy issues," said Nik Nanos, president of Nanos Research.
Environmentalists argue that development of the Alberta oil sands for the crude that Keystone would carry will increase emissions of greenhouse gases.
The poll contacted Americans between March 28 and April 7, and Canadians between April 6 and April 9.
The Obama administration is, for a second time, reviewing TransCanada's application to build Keystone after rejecting the project in 2012. Keystone faces stiff opposition in the US from environmental groups and key Democratic policy makers.
Canada's Conservative government, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has said building Keystone XL would ensure a safe, stable supply of energy for the US and reduce reliance on oil from politically volatile regions such as the Middle East.
Dow Jones Newswires