One-Sided Keystone XL Poll Tells the Story Big Oil Wants You To Hear
One-Sided Keystone XL Poll Tells the Story Big Oil Wants You To Hear By Climate Guest Blogger on Feb 22, 2013 at 10:45 am
Cross-posted from the Sierra Club
After a weekend during which tens of thousands of Americans took to the streets to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and demand solutions to the climate crisis, the American Petroleum Institute (API) is touting a one-sided poll they claim shows Americans supporting the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.
However, a closer look at their poll questions unveils a biased survey which failed to equip respondents with the basic facts of the project before asking them to form an opinion. Instead, API crafted a poll to ensure they got the types of answers they were looking for by totally ignoring the environmental and economic realities of the toxic pipeline from Canada.
You can see the questionnaire for yourself here (PDF). And you’ll notice that poll respondents are presented with all types of arguments for the pipeline, but not a single argument against Keystone XL. In fact, the survey doesn’t even mention the words “tar sands” at all. Without the proper context, people who had never heard of Keystone XL before could easily associate the pipeline with conventional oil — not the toxic, more carbon-intensive tar sands oil that Keystone XL would transport. Furthermore, there is no mention of the grave risks Keystone XL poses. API’s survey ignores any discussion of possible oil spills, drinking water contamination, or climate-disrupting pollution — just to name a few.
The poll also primes respondents to believe that Keystone XL tar sands oil is destined for the U.S. marketplace — rather than noting that it is effectively an export pipeline that pumps tar sands oil through the U.S. to get to the global marketplace. ...