New Poll Shows Widespread Support for Stronger Smog Standards | American Lung Association

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New Poll Shows Widespread Support for Stronger Smog Standards

Proposal wins by 2 -1 margin

(November 25, 2014) - Washington, D.C.

Americans across the country are overwhelmingly supportive of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposing an update to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone – often known as smog – that would limit the amount of this life-threatening air pollution in the air we breathe, according to new data released today from a nationwide, bipartisan survey conducted by the American Lung Association.

Today's results show that more than two-thirds of voters, 68 percent, enter the debate supporting safer, stricter standards on the amount of smog pollution power plants, oil refineries and other industrial facilities release.

"Setting more protective standards is a big test for the Obama Administration," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Big Polluters are already gearing up to block this critical protection through their influence in Congress. We are asking President Obama to stand strong and protect health. Clearly, the public supports these health protections."

Even when presented with potent industry arguments against updating the ozone standard, 62 percent of surveyed voters support the EPA setting stricter limits on smog to protect public health, rejecting the notion that stronger standards will limit economic growth and raise energy prices.

Wimmer added: "Ozone pollution is dangerous to human health at levels far below the current standard, leading to serious health effects – asthma attacks, emergency department visits and even premature death. Parents have a right to know if the air in their community is safe to breathe."

Key poll findings include:

  • An overwhelming 68 percent of voters across party and demographic lines support stricter smog pollution standards;
  • After presenting messaging from both sides of the issue, the strong support for stricter smog pollution standards is maintained at 62 percent; and,
  • Support for a stronger standard is robust across every region of the country (the Northeast, Midwest, South and West) and across almost every demographic group tested.

"The poll shows that a large, bipartisan majority of American voters support a standard that will protect public health and ensure parents know the true impact of pollution on their children," said Andrew Baumann, Vice President, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. "This is despite opposing language in the survey arguing that these standards will raise energy prices and kill jobs."

"After hearing strong economic and financial messaging opposing the standards, the proposal maintains robust support from independents," said Marc DelSignore President, Perception Insight. "While there is some erosion with Republicans, they remain in a statistical tie."

The analysis memo and questions from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Perception Insight can be found here.

Methodology: This survey was conducted for the American Lung Association by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Perception Insight during November 13-18, 2014. The firms conducted a national survey of 1,000 registered voters reached via live telephone interviews on both landlines and cell phones. The margin of error for the full national sample is 3.1 percent.

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