Poll: Cleaner Gasoline, Vehicles Endorsed by U.S. Voters

Rush hour traffic, American Legion Bridge McLean, Virginia


WASHINGTON, DC, January 31, 2013 (ENS) – An overwhelming majority of voters polled in a new American Lung Association survey support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in setting stricter standards on gasoline and tighter emissions standards for cars, SUVs and trucks.

The telephone survey of 800 registered voters, both Republicans and Democrats, was conducted from January 13 to 16 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies.

Rush hour traffic, American Legion Bridge McLean, Virginia (Photo by Seenu)

Pollsters found that nearly two-thirds of respondents support strengthening standards that limit sulfur in gasoline and tighten the limits on tailpipe emissions from new vehicles.

“Voters clearly want clean air,” said Paul Billings, senior vice president, American Lung Association.

“Implementing these standards on gasoline would remove as much pollution as taking 33 million cars off the road,” Billings said. “If we can remove that much pollution, we can prevent tens of thousands of asthma attacks and save thousands of lives every year.”

Voter support of stronger air pollution standards was found to persist across partisan, gender, racial, and geographic lines.

Pollution from cars has a devastating effect on the health of families and children, shortening lives, worsening asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and even causing cancer, the Lung Assocation points out.

Even after hearing opposing arguments that cars are already cleaner and allege that this proposal would cost families thousands of dollars, and would increase the cost of gas nine cents per gallon, the majority of voters surveyed (53 percent) still favored setting stricter standards on gasoline.

The poll determined that 69 percent of respondents favor EPA generally updating standards with stricter limits on air pollution.

electric cars
Hybrid cars charging their batteries in New York’s Central Park (Photo by Jeffrey Riehle)

A 2-to-1 majority (62 to 32 percent) support EPA setting stricter standards on gasoline and tightening limits on tailpipe emissions from new vehicles.

Only 17 percent of voters believe EPA is exceeding its legal mandate to ensure air quality, a key Republic argument.

By a 2-to-1 ratio, voters still view the EPA and the Clean Air Act very positively.

Meanwhile, feelings toward Congress have declined even further, especially among Democrats and independents. Just 18 percent of voters nationally give Congress a favorable rating, while 64 percent rate Congress unfavorably.

“There is a remarkable cross-partisan consensus on nearly every question in this survey,” said Andrew Baumann, Vice President at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. “Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans all support EPA taking action to ensure cleaner air – including on gasoline and vehicles.”

“Voters not only give an initial thumbs up to further strengthening standards for the gas they put in their cars,” said Lori Weigel, Partner, Public Opinion Strategies, “but, significantly, this proposal retains majority support even after a no-holds-barred simulation of the debate which could occur in the public arena.”

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2013. All rights reserved.

Continue Reading