The good news, which Republicans in Congress won't care about, because it involves Americans, as opposed to (profits for foreign) corporations, is that, according to a new NBC/WSJ poll, just 41% of the American public supports building the Keystone XL pipeline.
The not-as-good news, however: Just 20% oppose it, while a full 37% "say they don't know enough to have an opinion".
It's somewhat astonishing, frankly, that so many still "don't know enough" about it after all this time. But that's certainly what its supporters are counting on.
It'll be interesting to see if the news about the oil pipeline rupture in Montana's Yellowstone River on Saturday --- and today's report that it has contaminated the drinking water supply with cancer-causing Benzene --- will have any effect on those poll numbers.
The Guardian reports: "Truckloads of bottled water were expected to be brought in on Tuesday, and residents were warned not to drink or cook with water from their taps. Up to 50,000 gallons of oil spilled on Saturday from a break in a 12-inch pipeline owned by Wyoming-based Bridger Pipeline Co." This week's spill follows another pipeline rupture on the Yellowstone in 2011 that dumped 63,000 gallons of crude along an 85-mile stretch of the river.
By way of comparison to the KXL, the pipeline that broke on Saturday, spilling "up to 50,000 gallons", was just a 12-inch pipe, while the the KXL, if completed, will be a 36-inch pipeline stretching from Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico, right across the water supply for much of the Midwest. What could possibly go wrong?
And one more quick related point: Republican majorities (along with the help of a few pro-KXL Dems) blocked two Democratic amendments today to the GOP Senate bill to require completion of the pipeline. The amendments, proposed by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Al Franken (D-MN), would have required that all of the dirty oil transported through the pipeline be sold in the U.S., and that the pipeline be built with American-made steel.
Do the world a favor and feel free to pass on this short article to a few of those folks who "say they don't know enough to have an opinion" on Keystone XL.