Majority supports Keystone XL, or do they?

Vancouver Sun headlines: U.S. majority supports controversial Keystone XL pipeline project: poll

A majority of U.S. voters still support TransCanada Corp’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline as the Obama administration again weighs whether to approve or scrap the project, according to a new poll.

Rasmussen Reports, a public opinion research company, found 53 per cent of likely U.S. voters at least somewhat favoured moving ahead with the pipeline, down from 60 per cent approval in mid-November, according to the survey…

Since Postmedia didn’t have room to tell the rest of the story, I’ll do them a favour. Not that I would expect the Sun or any sister paper to explain that Keystone XL would take Canadian oil to tidewater for shipment overseas, thereby driving domestic prices higher by eliminating what has become a chronic North American oil surplus. That was covered in New pipelines hurt Canadian consumers.

However, Scott Rasmussen, the pollster who claims majority support for Keystone XL is regularly contracted by crony capitalists and touted by right wing media. He is a partisan pollster who tilts Republican and is a Fox News favourite. Rasmussen’s polls routinely scored George Bush’s approval more highly than others and he repeatedly announces lower approval ratings for Barack Obama than other pollsters.

The Washington Post refuses to cite Rasmussen’s polls. In Pollster Scott Rasmussen’s numbers are firing up Republicans and Democrats, journalist Jason Horowitz wrote:

As cash-strapped newspapers and television networks struggle to meet the growing demand for polls, Rasmussen, 54, is supplying reams of cheap, automated surveys that will measure — and maybe move — opinion, especially as primary season gives way to the November midterm elections…

The firm manages to violate nearly everything I was taught what a good survey should do,” said Mark Blumenthal, a pollster at the National Journal and a founder of He put Rasmussen in the category of pollsters whose aim, first and foremost, is “to get their results talked about on cable news.

Nate Silver, who runs the polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight, … faults Rasmussen for polling only likely voters, which reduces the pool to “political junkies.”

“It paints a picture of an electorate that is potentially madder than it really is,” agreed Scott Keeter, director of survey research at Pew Research Center and vice president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). “And potentially more conservative than it really is.”

Rasmussen Reports serves its New York institutional investors and its corporate and political clients. Polling pioneers like George Gallup designed science-based tools for unbiased reporting of public opinion. Instead, Rasmussen uses polling to manufacture news and influence opinion on behalf of his sponsors. It is one of the politician’s black arts.

The oil industry wants Keystone XL so they can ship Canadian oil to world markets. What better way to create shortages here and force North American petroleum prices upward. The Vancouver Sun won’t report that fact but they will provide you with any twaddle that promotes the interests of energy companies.

Categories: Journalism

5 replies »

  1. Keystone XL is a great project it will help Canada and the United States by integrating our energy Markets. It will transport Alberta and Bakken oil to hungry refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

    It just makes sense that the majority of American's would support this project.


  2. Except that Canadian oil, no longer landlocked, will be shipped into world markets, at Brent Crude pricing. Oil companies want to solve the North American glut so Keystone XL is good news for them, bad news for consumers who now benefit from the lower WTI pricing.


  3. The Vancouver Sun actually print the truth, you got to be kidding, it is just a Canadian version of Pravda, when it was the mouthpiece for the old Soviet government.

    All corrupt newspapers do the same thing, print as they are told.

    Big business wants keystone, therefore the Sun will support the project.


  4. Is it just possible that Keystone XL is a ploy, a delay to give the backers of the Gateway to Kitimat a reason for construction? It is just too pat. When the northern pipeline is finished, voila! Keystone gets the aok? After all that is what sort of happened with Westcoast transmission way back when. Howe Street boys made off with a lot of loot over that one. Who stands to make money on these two pipelines? Follow the money.



  5. The acidification of the oceans, is a very real threat. The acid will eat the shells of crustaceans. Acidification is damaging the internal organs of fish larvae. The coral is turning white. The growth of new coral, has slowed right down.

    The oil spill in Nigeria, is much worse than they first thought. They have really, not bothered too much, to clean up oil spills off Africa, in the past.

    How many more, tanker spills, pipe bursts and off shore rig explosions will it take, for common sense to trump greed? Harper for sure will never smarten up, his greed is obscene. BP hasn't learned anything from the Gulf oil spill. Obama is probably waiting for the completion of, the Canada, U.S. border deal. The pipe burst into the Kalamazoo River, has taught him nothing either.

    There is still oil gathering on the rocks, from the Valdez spill over 21 years ago. The spill off New Zea Land, the spill off Nigeria, the Gulf oil spill, and still the fools plot the destruction of our planet.


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