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Pew Survey finds broad support for Keystone XL; splits on fracking; slippage in seeing warming as very serious

A new US survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted 13-17 March among 1,501 adults, found broad public support for the Keystone XL pipeline project; regional, gender and partisan differences in views of fracking; and a slippage in the percentage of Americans who say that global warming is a very serious problem, compared to October 2012.

Click to enlarge.

Keystone XL. The survey found that two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor building the pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. 23% oppose construction of the pipeline.

Support for the pipeline spans most demographic and partisan groups, according to Pew. Substantial majorities of Republicans (82%) and independents (70%) favor building the Keystone XL pipeline, as do 54% of Democrats. There is a division among Democrats: 60% of the party’s conservatives and moderates support building the pipeline, compared with 42% of liberal Democrats.

Fracking. The survey found mixed opinions about increased use of fracking, a drilling method that uses high-pressure water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas from underground rock formations. About half (48%) of Americans favor the increased use of this process, while 38% are opposed.

There are regional differences in opinions about the increased use of fracking. More than half of those who live in the Midwest (55%) and South (52%) favor the increased use of fracking; there is less support in the West (43%) and Northeast (37%).

While men favor the increased use of fracking by a 55% to 34% margin, women are divided (41% favor, 42% oppose).

Twice as many Republicans (66%) as Democrats (33%) favor the increased use of fracking. Independents, by a 51% to 36% margin, support the increased use of fracking.

Percentages on views of seriousness of global warming over time. Data: Pew. Click to enlarge.

Global warming. 69% said there is solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades—little changed from last October (67%), but up 12 points since October 2009. Four years ago, just 57% saw solid evidence of global warming and 36% said it was mostly caused by human activity.

Among those who see evidence of global warming, more say it is caused mostly by human activity (42% of the public) than by natural patterns in the earth’s environment (23%). 27% say there is no solid evidence of warming.

However, the percentage of Americans who say that global warming is a very serious problem has slipped six points, from 39% to 33%, since last October. Current opinions about whether global warming is a very serious problem are similar to those in 2009 and 2010.

Pew noted that there has been a sizable partisan gap in views about whether there is solid evidence of global warming since the Pew Research Center began asking this question in 2006.

In the current survey, almost twice as many Democrats (87%) as Republicans (44%) say there is solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been rising. Further, Democrats are three times as likely as Republicans to say that human activity is mostly causing global warming (57% vs. 19%).

Beyond the wide gap between parties in opinions about global warming, there also are differences among Republicans and Democrats.

Moderate and liberal Republicans are far more likely than conservative Republicans to say there is solid evidence of global warming (57% vs. 37%) and are more likely to say it is mostly happening because of human activity (27% vs. 16%).

Most liberal Democrats (92%) and conservative and moderate Democrats (85%) say there is solid evidence of global warming. But far more liberal Democrats (72%) than conservative and moderate Democrats (51%) say the earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity.

Most Americans continue to say that global warming is either a very serious problem (33%) or a somewhat serious problem (32%). However, the percentage saying it is a very serious problem has declined six points (from 39%) since October 2012.

Current views about whether global warming is a serious problem are similar to those in 2009 (35% very serious problem) and 2010 (32%). From 2006 through 2008, more than four-in-ten viewed global warming as a very serious problem.

About half of Democrats (48%) say global warming is a very serious problem, an eight-point decline from 56% last October. The percentage of independents saying global warming is a very serious problem also has slipped, from 39% to 31%. Just 14% of Republicans say global warming is a very serious problem; in October, 19% of Republicans expressed this view.



Aren't the real questions:

1. Will delaying the Keystone XL pipeline project accomplish anything positive?
. ("yes, because it just seems right" = "No").

2. Is there a significant chance that heavy US spending will eliminate or effectively reduce global warming?
. ("I don't care, we should do what's right" = "No").


Autism and related permanent defects went up 4X in only 7 years, from 13 to 52 for 10000 birth between 2001 and 2007, specially when the grandfathers were over 50, (and consumed a lot of junk food, alcohol and lived in polluted areas) when the mothers to be were born.

In other words, old grandfathers to be (and sugar daddies, over 40) with poor diet and living in polluted areas should not try to reproduce? Vasectomies are indicated? That would be for 70+% of most males over 40 in USA and Canada?


Ford was the best seller in Canada in 2012. The main reason was a +27% increase in fuel guzzling F-150 sales (mostly in Western Canada) and a 2% increase in smaller cars (mostly in Eastern Canada)

Corn cultivated to produce ethanol is polluting many rivers and lake Erie with blue/green deadly alga at an increasing rate.

@TT....yes USA and Canada should consume less fossil fuel and corn based ethanol but we will have to buy less guzzling vehicles. Reluctance to drive smaller and/or electrified vehicles is still around and very strong.

That is the real cause for more (XL like) pipelines and more shale oil and tar sands oil production in USA and Canada.

A new Alberta-East Coast Canadian oil pipeline network will be built and in operation in about 24 months. New Trans-Mountain oil/NG pipelines will follow.


This survey seems highly pro-XL$.

The recent pipeline leaking across Ark. suburbs photos may be more realistic, esp. since US oil demand is falling.

Trevor Carlson

Without a pipeline the oil moves by train. It's a good thing trains never have accidents...

From what I've read Soros is the man with a vested interest in the railroads and stalling any pipeline projects. He also helped Obama get elected. - No conflict of interest there! Obama is only concerned about what's best for the American People and the environment.

Trevor Carlson


This was written July of 2007. It's written very matter of fact.
However with some perspective of history we know that Warren Buffet and Soros both have strong vested financial interests in stalling the Pipeline as long as possible and they both have been sponsors and proponents of Obama and his policies. Buffet has even voiced support of higher taxes - though his actions do concur.
This is how the rich stay rich - they use their power to influence public policy toward positions that will benefit them.






So, PEW went and found some people who weren't watching dancing with the stars or survivor and got them to answer some questions. Did Pew ask the respondents if they had even read anything about the topics first or did they just have to be able to watch TV? If we say that a survey represents what the public thinks, shouldn't we know if the public is capable of thinking? By my own rough estimate they should probably disallow about 90% of their respondents from answering the questions because they lack any specific knowledge. Sure, they can repeat the simplistic ramblings of our so called NEWS outlets, but most of that is incorrect. The infotainment industry has no requirement to be correct nor do they even try. They sell advertising and thus keep their audience ignorant and susceptible to being misled.


Tell 'surveyors' which TV channels you are watching and they will have a very good idea of the answers you will give.

Data on specific TV channel watching is available.

Smart 'surveyors' can therefore be very selective and get the results they are paid for?

If 'surveyor A' selectively contacts 1000+ pro- and if another 'surveyor' selectively contacts 1000+ anti- they will get very different results to fully satisfy very different customers?

If a customer is willing to pay, he can get the results wanted?


@ bk4

You said it, bro.

Trevor Carlson

@ ai_vin - I don't know what you're trying to say by simply providing links to websites I know just by looking at the address are going to be highly biased. thinkprogress has an agenda and they are willing to tell partial truths to promote it. They are also supported by Soros - so they wouldn't bite that hand that feeds them. In a way you're kind of proving my points that rich people can manipulate media, nudging/spinning current events in favor of their non-public agendas.

Don't you think it's a little suspicious how thinkprogress doesn't report on or negatively spin the oil spills due to railroad accidents?

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