The Keystone Oil Pipeline is pictured under construction in North Dakota in this undated photograph released on January 18, 2012.
OTTAWA - It seems the majority of Americans are in favour of building the proposed the Alberta-Texas Keystone XL pipeline.
A recent poll published by the Washington Post newspaper indicates Americans are firmly behind energy infrastructure giant TransCanada's plan to ship 700,000 barrels a day of Alberta bitumen to Gulf Coast refineries. Just over 60% of registered voters polled said the government should approve the building of the pipeline. Along party lines, that broke down to 48% support among registered Democrats and 82% among Republican supporters.
A full 82% of registered voters polled said they believed it would create jobs, while a minority - 34% - were concerned the project would harm the environment.
In January, President Barack Obama punted a decision on the controversial pipeline until 2013 - after this year's presidential elections - sparking an immediate reaction from the federal Conservative government.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper began pitching Alberta crude to energy-hungry Asian economies and his government launched a streamlined environmental review to help speed Canadian pipeline projects like Enbridge's Northern Gateway through the process.
Last month, Obama also received a sound chiding by a Canadian and an American academic in the prominent Foreign Affairs magazine for nixing the Keystone XL decision.
They pointed to Obama's refusal to green-light the project as a key event in what they view as an unravelling relationship between the two countries.
"Obama's choice marked a triumph of campaign posturing over pragmatism and diplomacy, and it brought US-Canadian relations to their lowest point in decades," they write.
Critics don't want the pipeline built because they say oil from Alberta is dirty and worry a spill along way would wreak environmental havoc.
The project has been in review for over three years.
A random US sample of 1,002 adults were surveyed between June 14 and June 17 for the telephone poll. Results have a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.