This question does not mention climate or carbon pollution and refers to more supporting arguments than opposing ones. Worse, the anti-Keystone position is framed weakly and negatively (“opponents fear” environmental “impact”) whereas the pro-Keystone position is framed strongly and positively (“supporters say” it will “ease” oil important dependency and “create jobs”). Who wouldn’t rather be on the side of easing and creating rather than the side of fearing?
Additionally, the poll just asks if the respondent supports or opposes the pipeline. Yet when participants are not faced with such a loaded yes-or-no question independent voters favor renewable energy over the Keystone pipeline by a 4 to 1 margin. Among all voters, 87 percent believe Obama and Congress should make developing clean energy sources a priority. And if we actually listened to the voters across entire political spectrum who support renewable energy and climate action, developing the dirtiest new sources of fossil fuel would be unnecessary.
It would be terrific if national politicians actually followed public opinion on climate and clean energy policy. Until then, we have to hope the president will use his executive authority to stop the big new spigot into one of the dirtiest pools of carbon on the planet.
Cameron Davis is an intern at Think Progress