Part 1 of Energy Study - US and Canadian Views on Energy Policy
A new study examining energy policy suggests that energy security trumps the concern about greenhouse gas emission among both Americans and Canadians. The study, completed by Nik Nanos, a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. included polling data among Americans and Canadians. Part one of the study release focuses on motivations driving perceptions on energy issues and views of the Keystone XL pipeline. The complete report will be released by the end of May 2013.
“The research indicates that although both Americans and Canadians believe that reducing greenhouse gases is important, energy security, particularly in the US is driving views on energy issues. The appetite to focus on having North America free from importing oil from outside of North America trumps reducing greenhouse gases as a policy priority by a factor of 2-to-1 in the US (63 per cent of Americans favour reducing oil imports from outside of North America over the 30 per cent who thought reducing greenhouse gases was more important).”
Similarly there is a strong support for pursuing a continental energy strategy among both Americans (76 per cent) and Canadians (66 per cent). Americans and Canadians also embraced the concept of common environmental standards between the two countries (85 per cent of Americans said it was important/somewhat important and 78 per cent of Canadians said it was important/somewhat important).
Consistent with other surveys in the public domain a comfortable majority of both Americans and Canadians support/somewhat support moving forward with the Keystone XL pipeline currently. Seventy per cent of Americans and 60 per cent of Canadians have a positive or somewhat positive view of the project and support and those that support or somewhat support to proceed rises to 74 and 68 per cent respectively. Considering the general mood of public opinion, it would seem that even a portion of voters with a mixed view of the project, still support approval, likely because of the appetite for reducing reliance on oil imports from outside of North America.
The key takeaways from the element of the study are as follows:
- although reducing greenhouse gases is important for both Americans and Canadians, it is overshadowed by energy security;
- reducing greenhouse gases was important to a majority of both American’s and Canadian’s when tested individually;
- both Americans and Canadians recognize the importance of greater co-operation on both energy and environmental issues;
- the American public has a fixation on ensuring a stable supply of energy; and,
- Keystone XL pipeline approval is favoured by comfortable majorities in both the US and Canada.
To view the charts and the detailed statistical tabulations for the questions and the methodology for the public opinion research conducted in the US and Canada please visit our website.
What do you think?