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Survey: Canadians Cry Oil Crisis As Pipeline Problem Grows Worse

Sixty percent of Canadians now feel that the country’s oil pipeline capacity has reached crisis levels, according to a new survey from the Angus Reed Institute.

Pipeline takeaway capacity has bitten into Canada’s oil revenues as Canada’s Western Canadian Select benchmark price continues to trade at an uncomfortable discount.

An astonishing 70% of all Canadians reported that the country will “face considerable impact if no new pipeline capacity is built, the new survey shows. And it’s not just residents from Canada’s oil-rich province of Alberta who deem pipeline constraints a national crisis; even in British Columbia, a province generally known for its strong environmental presence, 53% of residents feel it is a crisis. That’s low compared to the overwhelming majority—87%--of Alberta residents who feel that way.

The survey also reports that overall, residents feel that the oil and gas industry is the most critical industry to the country.

 The majority (53%) of residents surveyed support both the Trans Mountain and Energy East pipelines, while 19% oppose both pipelines.  About 61% of respondents support Trans Mountain.

As for the government’s handling of its pipeline issues, 50% of those surveyed feel that the federal government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is doing too little to build new pipeline capacity, while 23% feel the federal government has had the right approach. 27% feel the federal government has overstepped.

While most of the provinces, with the exception of outlier Quebec, seem to have similar views of the pipeline crisis, there is an age-related disparity. 62% of those respondents 55 and older support both pipelines, while just 55% of those between the ages of 35-54 support both. Only 38% of those respondents between 18 and 34 support both, highlighting the divided between generations.

The poll indicates that favor is rising for the much-debated Trans Mountain pipeline, with an April 2018 poll reporting 55% of those polled supported Trans Mountain. In February 2018, the same poll showed only a 49% approval rating for the Trans Mountain.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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