Half of Canadians support Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, just over half back protests against it, and some actually support both

by Angus Reid | December 18, 2014 9:18 am

New survey measures Canadians’ views on Keystone, KM pipelines, energy policy and gas prices


December 18, 2014 – Canadians are split in their views on the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia, and the public protests that have dogged it.

An online survey of Canadian adults by angus reid institutethe Angus Reid Institute (ARI) shows a little more than half (56%) say they supported the protestors in Burnaby, BC, whose arrests and opposition to any expansion of the pipeline carrying crude oil and refined products made national headlines at the end of last month.

Almost as many (51%) say they support the proposed expansion itself. Notably, one-third of those who say they support the protests, also say they support the pipeline’s expansion.

The vast majority of all respondents (88%) say protests or no protests, the pipeline expansion will eventually go ahead.

The findings are part of a national Angus Reid Institute study into the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, the US Senate’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, opinions about falling gas prices and broad views on energy policy in this country.

Kinder Morgan Pipeline

ARI asked respondents whether they have been following the Kinder Morgan pipeline protests in news coverage, if they support or oppose the pipeline expansion, whether they support or oppose the protests, and they think the pipeline expansion will ultimately go ahead.

A quarter of Canadians say they are following the protests (23% say they are following very closely or closely). British Columbians are following the protests more closely than the rest of Canada (very closely 19%, closely 35%).keystone pipeline pollKey Findings:

trans mountain pipeline

Keystone XL rejection in the US Senate 

The Angus Reid Institute also asked Canadians whether they thought the US Senate defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline was good or bad news for Canada, our economy, the environment and Canada-US relations.

Overall, Canadians see a benefit to the environment, but tend to see the latest rejection as bad for Canada, the economy and bilateral relations.

Further analysis found that:

Two-thirds (62%) of Canadians said the rejection of the pipeline was good news for the environment, versus only one-in-seven (14%) who see it as bad news and one-in-four (24%) who are unsure.keystone xl poll

For Canada generally, the view tilts negative: 45 per cent of those surveyed said the US Senate rejection was bad news for this country versus 34 per cent who saw it as good news. (21% were unsure) Two-thirds of Albertans view Keystone’s latest setback as bad news for Canada.angus reid institute

Almost three-quarters of respondents in Alberta said it was bad news for the Canadian economy.pipeline poll

angus reid institute

However, people say the Keystone pipeline will probably still go ahead: one-in-four (25%) say in the next few years, 64 per cent say at some point and only roughly one-in-ten (11%) say it will likely never happen.Canada’s energy policy

The ARI survey asked Canadians what they consider to be the top priority in shaping Canada’s energy policy: protecting the environment or ensuring economic growth.

Faced with this overall choice, those surveyed most of those surveyed said protecting the environment is more important than encouraging economic growth (61% versus 39%).

The survey revealed differences in opinion by political support: Conservative Party of Canada voters put precedence on the economy (63% versus 37% who would emphasize the environment) while opposition party supporters are much more likely to say the environment is most important (70% of Liberals and 73% of NDP supporters).

Canadians were also asked how important they consider five specific factors to be in terms of developing Canada’s energy policy:

Gas prices 

With gas prices at a five-year  low, Angus Reid Institute asked respondents what kind of impact these lower gas prices mean for them personally. Two-thirds of Canadians say the break at the pumps is a big deal for them: one-in-four (28%) described it as a major impact and they “definitely feel the savings” and another 38 percent said it has had some noticeable impact on them. Only one-in-three described the lower gas prices as having a very minor impact (22%) or no impact at all (12%).

Click here for full report including tables and methodology[1]

Click here for Questionnaire used in this survey[2]

Image Credit: Mark Klotz

Endnotes:
  1. Click here for full report including tables and methodology: http://angusreid.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2014-12-18-Energy.pdf
  2. Click here for Questionnaire used in this survey: http://angusreid.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Energy-Questionnaire.pdf

Source URL: https://angusreid.org/half-canadians-support-kinder-morgan-expansion/