Poll shows majority of British Columbians support Kitimat oil refinery plan

A clear majority of British Columbians are in support of constructing a West Coast refinery to process refined petroleum products, according to a Mustel Group poll.

The poll was released this morning by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce during a morning conference. Businessman David Black, the CEO of Kitimat Clean, the proponent of the refinery, will be making an address and meeting with key energy industry representatives.

The survey of 800 British Columbians found:

·         Almost eight-in-ten residents are currently aware of a proposal to build a refinery on British Columbia's northwest coast (79 per cent)

·         But after being provided with information about the refinery, more than 52 per cent express support for the proposal, in contrast to 39 per cent who oppose it

·         However, if an environmentally sound method of transporting bitumen from Alberta to the refinery in B.C. were found, support for the proposal increases to 66 per cent and opposition decreases to 24 per cent (10 per cent unsure)

·         The majority of B.C. residents agrees that B.C. and Canada should add value to natural resources before exporting (86 per cent), that it is better to refine bitumen within B.C. rather than offshore (76 per cent), and with diversifying exports to find markets beyond the United States for Canada's petroleum products (70 per cent).

·         Furthermore, the majority of B.C. residents is opposed to the Northern Gateway Pipeline plan to ship unrefined bitumen offshore (57 per cent), with less than one-third that expresses support (30 per cent)

The Mustel poll was carried out Feruary 18 to 24, across the province. The margin of error at the 95 per cent level of confidence on the total sample is +/-3.5 per cent.

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