New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Keeping Stronger Fuel Efficiency Standards

Nearly 3 out of 4 voters support maintaining stricter standards

Today, the American Lung Association released new poll results showing that an overwhelming majority of American voters – across virtually all major demographic groups – support keeping strong fuel efficiency standards put in place by the previous administration. When voters were presented with a balanced debate, including strong arguments that reflect the language being used by opponents of the standards, voter support for keeping the current standards remained robust. The poll results come as the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are poised to weaken the current standards.

"This poll is the latest evidence of widespread support for strong fuel efficiency standards," said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer. "American voters overwhelmingly support the current fuel efficiency standards and want them to remain in place. Even after hearing from both sides of the debate, nearly seven in ten voters support keeping the standards."

Administered by Global Strategy Group, the poll showed that voters' support for maintaining the current fuel efficiency standards crosses party lines, with Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters all supporting keeping the standards. This support also extends across various demographic and regional groupings in the survey, including gender, age, education and race.

The current standards require automakers to make steady improvements to the fuel efficiency of cars, light trucks and SUVs through the year 2025. An extensive public review conducted by the previous Administration found that the standards were appropriate, and that automakers could reasonably comply.

According to the Lung Association, these standards are a critical tool to fight climate change. Cleaner, more efficient vehicles will help protect the health of all Americans, particularly the most vulnerable, such as children, older adults, and people living with lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

"This strong public support will bolster the resolve of states to fight to keep strict standards in place and to maintain states' authority to address climate change and protect Americans' health. To rise to the challenge of preventing the worst impacts of climate change, we have to move forward, not backwards. Reducing vehicle pollution – through strong fuel efficiency standards, transitioning to zero emissions vehicle, and encouraging public transportation – is a critical part of the solution," added Wimmer.

Key findings from the poll include: 

  • Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of voters support the previous administration's fuel efficiency standards, including 42 percent who strongly support keeping them.
  • Support for strong fuel efficiency standards crosses partisan lines, with Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters all supporting keeping the current fuel efficiency standards in place. Democrats support the standards at a rate of more than five-to-one (82 percent support/18 percent oppose), and both independent voters (69 percent support/31 percent oppose) and Republicans (67 percent support/33 percent oppose) support keeping the standards in place by more than two-to-one.
  • After voters hear arguments from both sides of the debate, which include a strong argument from opponents of the standards, the support for keeping the standards holds strong at 69 percent.

"Support for keeping the standards remains robust even after voters read arguments from both sides, including an argument from opponents that stresses potentially negative cost and safety ramifications of keeping these standards in place," said Andrew Baumann, Senior Vice President at Global Strategy Group.

The analysis memo from Global Strategy Group can be found online:


Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 805 registered voters nationwide between June 25th and 27th, 2019. Care has been taken to ensure the demographic, regional, and political divisions of the electorate are properly representative of the registered voter population of the United States.


For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

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