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PA Strongly Supports Fuel-Efficiency Standards

Transportation now is the largest source of carbon pollution. (05322008/Pixabay)
Transportation now is the largest source of carbon pollution. (05322008/Pixabay)
October 25, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Overwhelming support for keeping federal fuel-efficiency standards cuts across party lines in Pennsylvania, according to a new poll.

In August, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt announced that he'd opened a review of the rules that were put in place to further reduce carbon emissions from new cars and trucks. But according to pollster Elizabeth Sena, a partner with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, the poll - commissioned by a coalition of environmental groups - shows almost three in four Pennsylvanians support requiring the auto industry to meet the cleaner standards.

"It's true across the demographics within the state," she said, "but I think, most importantly it's true across partisanship, and it maintains support and has support even among Trump voters."

Car manufacturers say the standards would increase prices and don't take into account the growing demand for larger vehicles. However, former EPA administrator Carol Browner pointed out that the manufacturers were involved in the process of setting the standards.

"And they're important standards," she said. "You'll have a cleaner car, you'll have a more efficient car. It means that families will save money at the pump. When they fill up, a tank of gas will go even further."

The standard requires cars and light trucks to get an average of 40 miles per gallon by 2025.

Support for higher standards isn't confined to Pennsylvania. The poll was conducted in five states and Sena said all showed similar results.

"Even among Republicans, we have majority support across all five states," she said. "It's 69 percent among Republicans in Michigan; it's 56 percent among Republicans in Ohio, as an example."

She said almost half of those who supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election also back the increased fuel-efficiency standards.

The poll is online at sierraclub.org.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA