On behalf of the Minnesota Ag-Energy Alliance, Public Opinion Strategies conducted a statewide survey of 600 likely voters (margin of error + 4.0%) online November 30-December 7, 2015. The purpose of this memo is to review the key findings from the survey.
Minnesota voters support constructing the Sandpiper Pipeline.
By a 40%-25% margin, Minnesotans support the construction of the Sandpiper Pipeline Project. Regionally, voters across the state support the project, including voters in the Twin Cities (37%-28%), Collar Counties (39%-29%) and the Northeast (46%-22%).
And, after voters hear more about the project’s economic benefits, support for the Sandpiper Pipeline increases significantly.
After voters hear that good-paying jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue are at risk without Sandpiper, that Minnesota is becoming a place where it is not as easy to do business with, and that new construction jobs and other main street businesses like hardware stores, mom and pop shops and other local small businesses are being harmed, backing for constructing the Sandpiper Pipeline climbs to 54% support-22% oppose (up from 40%-25% initially).
A strong majority of Minnesotans believe the state should approve the construction of oil pipelines to alleviate rail congestion.
Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) say railroad congestion in the state is a problem for transporting crude oil for farmers, iron ore producers and other state industries. This is not a partisan issue as fully 71% of Republicans AND 68% of Democrats view it as a problem. And, by a 52%-23% margin, Minnesotans believe the state should approve the construction of oil pipelines as a means to alleviate rail congestion.
Voters believe two years should be more than enough time to permit the project and want Governor Dayton to be more personally involved.
After voters hear that the pipeline has been approved in North Dakota but the Minnesota PUC has delayed permitting construction for over two years, and that the state is losing out on jobs and property tax revenue, fully 63% believe two years should be more than enough time to permit the project while just 37% believe government agencies should be given all the time they need.
Further, by a 59%-41% margin, voters across the state believe the Governor should get more personally involved with his agencies to get the project approved.