New Poll Shows Nebraskans Overwhelmingly Prefer a Clean Energy Future

Opposition to Dirty KXL Pipeline has Increased Significantly

Jonathon Berman,

Omaha, NE -- Today, the Sierra Club released a poll detailing Nebraskans’ attitudes on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), found that 58 percent of Nebraska voters believe clean, renewable energy projects like wind and solar will benefit the state more than investing in fossil fuel projects like the Keystone XL pipeline. The poll also found that an overwhelming majority of Nebraska voters (66 percent) support moving their state to generate 100% of its energy from clean, renewable sources.

Over the years, as Nebraskans learn more about the proposed tar sands project, polls have shown a decline of in-state support for the Keystone XL pipeline. A 2012 poll, also by PPP, found that 60 percent of voters supported the project. Two years later, a different poll released by the Omaha World-Herald reported that 55 percent of residents supported the pipeline while 29 percent were opposed. Today’s poll found that Nebraskans support for the project is even lower, now sitting at only 46 percent in favor of the project. Lending further evidence that support for the pipeline has shifted, the poll found that a minority of voters (41%) believe it would actually benefit most Nebraskans while a majority (51%) do not.

Recently, the Nebraska Public Service Commission concluded a series of hearings on the Keystone XL pipeline as it continues to weigh whether or not to grant the project the final permits necessary.

“It’s crystal clear that Nebraskans want a future powered by clean, renewable energy, not one stuck in the past,” said Sierra Club Campaign Representative John Crabtree. “After a series of public hearings where Nebraskans opposed to the Keystone XL project outnumbered supporters every time, it’s not surprising to hear that public opinion is turning against this dirty, dangerous project. The Public Service Commission should listen to the public and do what’s in our state’s best interest: reject Keystone XL.”

Nebraskan voters have serious concerns about the dangers carried by the Keystone XL pipeline. Nearly two-in-three Nebraska voters say that the possibility of drinking water contamination from the project gives them very or somewhat serious concerns. Furthermore, voters are also concerned about the use of eminent domain to seize private land for the pipeline project (67 percent) and the threats it will pose to Nebraska’s ecological resources and endangered species.

“It appears that the more Nebraska voters learn about the Keystone XL pipeline, the more opposed they are to it. This poll suggests that many Nebraska voters have grown wary of the proposal, concerned about risks to drinking water, lands, and wildlife,” said Public Policy Polling’s Jim Williams. “Instead of investing in fossil fuel projects like Keystone XL, voters clearly call for greater investment in clean, renewable energy projects, which they believe will benefit Nebraska more.”  

The poll surveyed 820 Nebraskan voters between September 6-7 and carries a margin of error of +/- 3.4-percentage points.


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit