Poll: U.S. Support Slipping for Fracking, Keystone

More Americans now oppose fracking than favor it, and backing for KXL has also declined.

American enthusiasm for fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline is waning, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

Keystone XL, which would bring crude from Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, still enjoys majority favor, with 59 percent of respondents telling Pew they support its construction. But that's a drop from Pew's survey in March of 2013—when 66 percent of Americans said they wanted to see the pipeline built.

The partisan split over the pipeline has also intensified. Just 43 percent of Democrats currently favor construction, compared with a 54 percent majority in 2013. Among Republicans, 83 percent now support Keystone XL, a poll result that is nearly identical to the 2013 survey.

Support for fracking has also declined. More Americans oppose the controversial drilling technique than support it, by 47 percent to 41 percent. That's a flip in public opinion from March 2013, when more Americans (48 percent) favored expanded use of fracking than opposed (38 percent).

Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to pass legislation approving the pipeline when the next Congress convenes. A KXL bill could also advance earlier as Democrats look to deliver a political win to embattled Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu as she faces a runoff election against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy in Louisiana. The White House has not indicated whether it would veto a pro-Keystone bill.

The GOP Senate is also expected to take up legislation to expand natural-gas exports, a policy move that could bolster fracking in the U.S.