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New Bipartisan Poll Reveals Strong Support for Cleaner Gasoline and Vehicles

Voters support EPA setting stricter air pollution standards to protect public health

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An overwhelming majority of voters supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) setting stricter standards on gasoline and tighter emissions standards for cars, SUVs and trucks according to the American Lung Association's latest survey.

This bipartisan telephone survey of 800 registered voters, conducted during January 13-16, 2013, finds that nearly two-thirds of voters surveyed across the country support strengthening standards that limit sulfur in gasoline and tighten the limits on tailpipe emissions from new vehicles.  These revised standards would reduce pollution from cars, trucks and SUVs, would protect public health and would create jobs by encouraging innovation.

"Voters clearly want clean air," said Paul G. Billings, Senior Vice President of the American Lung Association. "Implementing these standards on gasoline would remove as much pollution as taking 33 million cars off the road. If we can remove that much pollution, we can prevent tens of thousands of asthma attacks and save thousands of lives every year."

This survey finds voter support of stronger air pollution standards reaches across partisan, gender, racial, and geographic lines. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies conducted the polling.

"This proposal is the most effective smog-fighting tool available, and cleaner gas would cost less than a penny per gallon," said Mr. Billings. "That's why automakers, states, health groups, and voters across all parties support this proposal." 

Pollution from cars has a devastating effect on the health of families and children, shortening lives, worsening asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and even causing cancer. Also by keeping people healthier, families would miss fewer days at work and the US would save billions of dollars in lower health care costs.  

The majority of voters surveyed (53 percent) still favored setting stricter standards on gasoline, 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.

Key poll findings include:

  • 69 percent of voters favor EPA generally updating standards with stricter limits on air pollution.
  • 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.

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 – but significantly, this proposal retains majority support even after a no holds barred simulation of the debate which could occur in the public arena," said Lori Weigel, Partner, Public Opinion Strategies.

The full survey, along with slides and a memo from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies can be found here.

Methodology: On behalf of the American Lung Association, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner

Research and Public Opinion Strategies conducted a national survey of 800 registered voters.  The survey was conducted by live interviews among voters reached on landline and cell phones from January 13-16, 2013.  The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 3.5 percentage points.

About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1 800 LUNG USA (1 800 586 4872) or visit www.lung.org.

About Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research is one of the world's premier public opinion research and strategic consulting firms. They specialize in political polling and campaign strategy, helping political candidates, parties, advocacy groups, and ballot initiatives succeed across the United States and around the globe.  GQR also supports some of the world's leading corporations and business executives in navigating changing global trends and improving their performance, reputation, and profitability.  GQR has 25 years of experience helping progressive candidates and groups win campaigns at all levels, from County Sheriff to President of the United States. 

About Public Opinion Strategies
Public Opinion Strategies is the largest Republican polling firm in the country, having polled for hundreds of GOP candidates in the last election. Since the firm's founding in 1991, they have completed more than 10,000 research projects, interviewing more than six million Americans across the United States. Public Opinion Strategies' research is well respected, and prestigious media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, and CNBC rely on them to conduct their polling. The firm conducts opinion research on behalf of hundreds of political campaigns, as well as trade associations, not-for-profit organizations, government entities and industry coalitions throughout the nation.

SOURCE American Lung Association



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