Canada Poll Shows More See Risks From Asia Energy Exports

Canadians are less convinced about the benefits of exporting energy to Asia, according to an Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada poll.

Fifty-four percent of almost 3,500 Canadians surveyed in the online poll said the hazards exceed the advantages of shipping crude oil and liquefied natural gas to Asia, up from 51 percent last year, the Vancouver-based organization said today in a report.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government must decide by June 17 whether to approve Enbridge Inc. (ENB)’s Northern Gateway pipeline, which would transport Alberta oil through British Columbia to the Pacific Coast where it could be shipped to Asia. A majority of British Columbians want Harper to reject or delay the project amid concern it could lead to spills, a Bloomberg-Nanos poll published last week showed.

Support has dwindled for building pipelines to move oil to the ports, with 42 percent in favor compared to 45 percent in 2013, the Asia Pacific Foundation report found. The idea of building pipelines to move natural gas to Canada’s west coast ports is less popular than a year ago, with 49 percent in support compared to 54 percent in 2013.

The survey underscored environmental concerns. Forty percent of respondents said tankers should be allowed to carry liquefied natural gas into west coast waters, with 44 percent opposing. Last year, both views had 42 percent support, the report said. Only 37 percent said oil tankers should enter west coast waters, with 48 percent opposed, the survey found.

Canada should give priority to relations with the U.S. rather than venturing into Asia too quickly, 54 percent surveyed said. That’s up from 49 percent in 2013.

Findings are based on a survey of 3,487 Canadian adults between Feb. 25 and March 7 conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net Paul Badertscher, Chris Fournier

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