Monday, May 15, 2006

Public supports stiffer fuel economy standards

Link: World Public Opinion.

Congress has blocked changes in the CAFE standards for cars since 1995.  But according to World Opinion Poll, Americans favor higher fuel efficiency standards.  It cites a February 2006 survey by Pew Research Center, which showed 86 % favor requiring better fuel efficiency for cars, trucks and SUVS and only 12% oppose stricter fuel efficiency requirements.  Other polls during the last 10 months underscore public support for higher fuel efficiency standards:

lA poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes and fielded by Knowledge Networks in January 2005 asked respondents to assume that requiring car manufacturers to meet higher fuel efficiency standards would mean “it would cost more to buy or lease a car.” Nonetheless, 77% supported requiring them, with just 20 percent opposed. This was a bipartisan view, favored by 74% of Republicans and 83% of Democrats.

Polls also show that the American public does not believe the U.S. government is doing enough to conserve energy. In November 2005, the Civil Society Institute asked respondents whether, in view of reports that fuel supplies were likely to get scarcer and more expensive, they believed the United States had done enough to develop alternative energy resources and to conserve fuel use, through steps such as requiring more efficient vehicles. Eighty-two percent of the respondents said the United States had not done enough; twelve percent said the United States had done about the right amount. Three percent believed the United States had done too much.

The same survey found that nearly eight in ten Americans agreed with the statement, “We need higher federal fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles now in order to conserve more energy, making us less dependent on Middle Eastern oil, and to reduce the ill effects of global warming.”

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