Stronger Fuel Economy Standards Enjoy Wide Support

By Liz Foley on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

It would be nearly impossible to identify a policy issue right now that almost everyone supports…unless you’re talking about stronger fuel efficiency for cars.

One poll after another shows Americans are in strong support of higher fuel economy standards.

And what’s not to like? New rules proposed by the Obama Administration to nearly double fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks over the next 15 years would save consumers thousands of dollars in gas costs, cut carbon pollution and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a poll a few months ago that found 93 percent of those surveyed want to see stricter fuel-economy standards while 77 percent agree that car manufacturers should produce more fuel efficient vehicles and the government should increase standards and enforce them.

The poll also found:

Over half (56 percent) of respondents said they were considering hybrid or electric cars for their next vehicle. If availability improves over the next 15 years, consumers are even more likely (72%) to consider them.

The poll findings suggest gas prices as the reason behind Americans’ support for alternative fuel vehicles and higher fuel efficiency:

“Eighty-nine percent of consumers who are considering these hybrid and electric models cited lower fuels costs as one of their motivations for making the transition,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center. “This survey demonstrates there is strong support in the consumer market for more efficient vehicles that help you keep your costs down at the gas pump.”

This is a rare issue that cuts across partisan lines. A survey by Consumer Federation of America shows that 62% of Republicans and 71% of Democrats support doubling fuel efficiency standards.

We now have a chance to turn opinions and words of support into real action.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation are inviting the public to weigh in on these new standards.

We’ve made it easy for you to do so here. Please take a minute now and urge these agencies to enact these standards that will save consumers money and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

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