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Poll: Majority of Americans Against Dependence on Foreign Oil

August 12, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. - Many issues divide the nation, but Americans are in strong agreement about the issue of dependence on foreign oil, according to a new study.

The survey by the Pew Clean Energy Program found that 91 percent of Americans view dependence on oil as a threat to national security. Most of those surveyed also support a stricter fuel-efficiency standard for American cars.

President Obama has set the new fuel standard at an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

As other nations such as China see an increased demand for oil, says former U.S. Sen. John Warner, R-Va., who works with the Pew program, America's need increases to find energy alternatives.

"This is putting huge pressure on the available oil supply. So we begin to examine our own use of energy."

The United Auto Workers and environmental groups on Tuesday ranked North Carolina 13th in the nation for jobs in clean and efficient auto technologies. Statewide, 19 facilities employ nearly 5,300 workers in those fields.

Earlier this week, Obama announced the first-ever fuel economy rules for tractor-trailer trucks. They'll have to get 20 percent more miles per gallon by the 2018 model year. According to the White House, the new fuel standards will save consumers $1.7 trillion during the life of the program. Warner says fuel efficiency should be a goal across the board.

"There is no political stamp in this fight on energy. We are all in it together, irrespective of the politics we like to follow."

Fuel efficiency doesn't stop with the engine. One tire company has created a fuel-efficient tire tread compound that helps reduce energy loss as the tire rolls.

The Pew study is online at pewenvironment.org, and the UAW rankings are at www.uaw.org.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC