Removing the partisan pipeline lens

The Bismarck Tribune this past week featured an op-ed by GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens focusing on a recent poll that highlighted strong bipartisan support for American energy and pipeline development. Oil and gas pipelines have unfortunately become political footballs that are tossed about in the wake of loud minority opinions that don’t accurately reflect how most Americans feel. Let’s stick to the facts.

As Stevens writes:

“Poll results show strong bipartisan support for commonsense energy and infrastructure policies, including oil and natural gas pipelines, which 71% of respondents believe are an effective and efficient way to transport energy. Break that number down and you will find strong bipartisan support as 68% of Democrats polled agree. This bipartisanship extends to views on our energy independence, with 93% of Republicans and 89% of Democrats believing the country should work toward that goal and not rely on foreign energy sources. When it comes to existing pipelines that are safely operating, an overwhelming majority (79%) is against shutting them down.”

In North Dakota specifically,

“82% of respondents believe oil and natural gas pipelines are an effective and efficient way to transport energy and 89% believe we must work towards achieving energy independence. The majority of respondents (84%) think active pipelines running safely should remain operational. Further, more than three-quarters of North Dakota respondents specifically support the continued operation of DAPL, which includes 73% of Native Americans polled.”

This presented data signals that pipelines are not a polarizing issue among most Americans. As Stevens asserts, “the discussion of our energy future should transcend political parties.” It shouldn’t be about opinion; it must center around fact. And the fact of the matter is that pipelines are crucial to our nation’s energy infrastructure system. Reliable, affordable energy for all Americans cannot be undervalued. 

Stevens finished the piece with this key passage:  “Energy independence and security are critical to our nation’s future, but it will be difficult to achieve either if pipeline opponents have their way. That is why bipartisanship should drive energy policies, not a small group of extremist environmental activists with a big megaphone. Americans do not view pipelines through a partisan lens and neither should lawmakers in Washington.”

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