Both polls were released Tuesday with each side claiming a “2-1″ margin of victory. The pros and cons of the pipeline have revolved around safety concerns and the possibility of a leak that could damage the Ogallala Aquifer which provides an estimated 80 percent of Nebraska’s drinking water.
TransCanada, the company looking to build the Keystone XL Pipeline under 255 miles of Nebraska, says its poll finds 69 percent of Nebraskans want the pipeline built while 27 percent oppose it.
According to the poll done by one of the pipeline’s critics, Bold Nebraska, 48 percent oppose the pipeline, 19 percent favor it, and 33 percent are undecided.
The two sides reached their results using different polling methods.
TransCanada surveyed 600 adults, 512 of them identified as registered voters. Bold Nebraska says it spoke to 500 “informed voters”.
Both sides also pursued different follow up questions.
Bold Nebraska says 76 percent of those questioned want the State of Nebraska to regulate the pipeline, compared to 6 percent who oppose state regulation.18 percent were undecided. Currently Nebraska has little or no pipeline oversight.
TransCanada says its poll finds that three of the four most important issues to Nebraskans are “getting the economy moving, creating more jobs, and reducing American dependence on oil.” According to the company those concerns, along with the belief that pipelines are the safest means of transporting crude oil, translate into support for the pipeline.
TransCanada’s poll was done by Hickman Analytics from August 25-29. Zata 3 conducted the Bold Nebraska poll on September 9.
The U.S. State Department is reviewing the pipeline project. A final decision is apparently still several weeks away.
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Reported by Joe Jordan, firstname.lastname@example.org