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Industry poll: 70 percent Americans support Keystone XL

The American Petroleum Institute is using a new poll to show Americans’ support for the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.

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With the latest delay -- the State Department on Friday said federal agencies needed more time to review the project in light of a Nebraska court dispute -- proponents of Keystone XL are reiterating their belief that the delays are politically motivated.

In the poll, conducted with 1,000 registered voters by Nielsen for API, 70 percent of respondents said they support building the Keystone XL. The pipeline would connect Canadian oil sands production to refineries in the Gulf Coast, picking up about 100,000 Bakken barrels a day on the way.

With polls showing support for the pipeline increasing, Cindy Schild, a senior manager at API, said on a media call Thursday, “Americans have grown familiar with the overwhelming case for Keystone.”

API also polled respondents on their overall views of energy policy, and found 80 percent said their votes in the 2014 midterm elections will be influenced by a politician’s stand on energy issues.

Asked if a candidate’s support for Keystone XL would make them more likely to support the candidate, 68 percent said yes.

“I think the public gets it when it comes to the Keystone fight,” API spokeswoman Sabrina Fang said on the call, adding people are seeing the fight is more political than anything.