National Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for New Fuel Efficiency, Tailpipe Emissions Standards

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Elliott Negin
Media Director
202-331-5439
enegin@ucsusa.org

National Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for New Fuel Efficiency, Tailpipe Emissions Standards

WASHINGTON - A new national poll of likely voters conducted by the Mellman Group
(pdf) found overwhelming public support for raising fuel efficiency
standards and reducing global warming pollution from the nation’s cars
and trucks.

The poll found that 74 percent of likely voters favor having “the
federal government require the auto industry to increase average fuel
efficiency…to 60 miles per gallon by the year 2025.” Sixty-six percent
of respondents still supported the idea even if it added $3,000 to the
price of a new car. However, eighty-three percent of respondents said
they would favor the policy if a $3,000 cost were recouped in four years
through savings at the pump.

Respondents believe that the automakers can achieve a 60 mile per
gallon standard. Eight-six- percent of respondents agreed that
technology either already exists or could be developed “if we made a
serious effort.” Only 10 percent respondents thought “the technology
does not already exist and would be very difficult to develop.”

A large majority of the respondents believe that it is “very likely”
or “somewhat likely” a 60 mile per gallon standard will reduce their
fuel bills, decrease air pollution, make the U.S. less dependent on
Middle East oil, and protect American autoworker jobs. The poll also
found that the public wouldn’t find potential auto industry objections
to the new rules convincing and in one case, seventy-nine percent of
respondents said an argument about the auto industry’s past objections
to seat belts, airbags, catalytic converters and fuel efficiency was a
convincing reason to support increasing fuel efficiency standards.

The survey had a sample size of 1,000 and a margin of error of plus
or minus 3.1 percent. It was conducted via telephone between September 8
and 13.

Environment America,
the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Union of
Concerned Scientists sponsored the poll. The groups have formed the Go 60 MPG coalition
to encourage President Obama, the Department of Transportation and the
Environmental Protection Agency to increase fuel efficiency standards to
at least 60 miles per gallon by 2025 and reduce global warming
pollution standards to no more than 143 grams per mile by that year. The
two agencies are set to officially start the process for new clean car
standards later this month. The standards will cover model years 2017 to
2025.

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The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

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