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09/27/2013 11:10 am ET

Keystone Pipeline Support Remains Strong, Even As Obama Touts Emissions Plan, Study Finds

AP

Most Americans continue to support the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, while at the same time favoring stricter greenhouse gas emissions guidelines proposed by President Obama, according to a new poll released by the Pew Research Center.

Despite ongoing protests by environmental groups, support for the pipeline remains at a stable 65 percent (down slightly from 66 percent in March), although opposition has risen from 23 percent to 30 percent in the same period. In contrast, 65 percent support the president's proposal to enact stricter limits on power plant emissions. The survey was conducted before the EPA announced its plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants last week.

The Keystone decision has become one of the most contentious issues of Obama's second term, with the president pledging to approve the project only if does "not significantly [exacerbate] the problem of carbon pollution."

The pipeline would carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta's tar sands across six states to refineries in Texas.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the project during a recent visit to New York City, saying he "won't take no for an answer" if the Obama administration rejects the project.

"The president has always assured me that he will a make decision that's in what he believes is in the best interests of the United States based on the facts. I think the facts are clear," Harper said during a meeting of the Canadian American Business Council.

The national survey conducted in early September included 1,506 adults aged 18 and older, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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