Pew Center: Voters Demand Stronger CAFE Standards 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 23 Jul 2007 19:31:00 GMT

With a vote on CAFE legislation in the House expected to come next week, the Pew Campaign for Fuel Efficiency today released new bipartisan polling in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Michigan that pulled from more than 30 congressional districts. The surveys found overwhelming voter support for the U.S. House of Representatives to pass CAFE legislation at least as strong as those passed by the U.S. Senate in June. One particular district surveyed was John Dingell’s, Michigan-15.

The polls compared the elements of the Markey-Platts bill (HR 1506) with those of the industry-supported Hill-Terry bill (HR 2927), and found overwhelming, across-the-board support for Markey-Platts across all demographic groups (partisanship, income, type of car, age, etc.). Voters just don’t buy the industry arguments against CAFE standards, believing that cars will continue to be safe and affordable and that the American auto industry and auto workers will be better off as they will be forced to innovate.

As Bill McInturff, the GOP pollster said in the briefing, “There’s really strong Republican support for higher standards, do it quicker, make it binding.” Voters see this as an economic, environmental, national security issue, and would feel better about Congress and their own representative if strong legislation is passed.

Voters in Dingell’s district look like the voters elsewhere.

The pollsters deliberately avoided global warming because they see it as a partisan issue.

Districts surveyed by The Mellman Group (D) and Public Opinion Strategies® July 13-16:

  • OH-4, 6, 9, 11, 12 ,13, 17, 18 (Jordan, Tubbs Jones, Tiberi, Sutton, Ryan, Space)
  • TN-1, 5, 6, 8 (Davis, Cooper, Gordon, Tanner)
  • KY-3, 6 (Yarmuth, Chandler)
  • PA-1, 3, 4, 11, 12, 17 (Brady, English, Altmire, Kanjorski, Murtha, Holden)
  • NC-2, 3, 7, 11, 12 (Etheridge, Jones, McIntyre, Shuler, Watt)
  • FL-2, 9, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 25 (Boyd, Bilirakis, Mahoney, Meek, Ros-Lehtinen, Wasserman Schultz, Klein, Diaz-Balart)
  • MI-15 (Dingell)

Leave a response

  1. HybridLover Wed, 25 Jul 2007 14:43:25 GMT

    Everyone wants to increase fuel economy standards. I doubt your pollsters explained to respondents that the Markey bill would require mass switches in technology that are simply not feasible and will cost Americans jobs.

    The Hill-Terry bill still accomplishes a combined fleet average of between 32-35 mpg by 2022, and it does it through technology that reaches the feasible threshold. This is no small feet but my organization, the alliance of automobile manufacturers, is willing to work hard in order to protect our environment while preserving American jobs.

    The good news is that the bipartisan Hill-Terry bill now has 100 cosponsors.

  2. The Cunctator Wed, 25 Jul 2007 15:01:18 GMT

    As he said, the commenter above represents the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers—the trade association that represents General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG, Toyota, BMW and four other automakers.

    See this Detroit News article for more on the lobbying effort of the auto industry to block strong CAFE standards.

    The Pew Center pollsters presented the auto industry arguments to the respondents, but the American public simply does not believe them.

    Respondents were asked which of these two statements they agreed with:

    We should not require auto companies to meet higher fuel efficiency standards over the next decade because it will hurt American auto companies while helping foreign automakers, cost American jobs, as well as keep autoworkers from getting their pensions and benefits. It will result in lighter, unsafe cars on the road, increase the cost of automobiles, and take vehicles off the market, like SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks.


    We should require auto companies to meet higher fuel efficiency standards over the next decade because American technology can produce cars, SUVs, minivans and pickups that are both safe and fuel efficient, and producing such vehicles will help make American auto companies more competitive and will save consumers money. Moreover, our national security requires us to become less dependent on foreign oil and the best way to do that is by reducing our consumption of gasoline.

    By four to one margins the American public rejected the auto industry’s arguments. Perhaps the AAM is correct. But perhaps the industry’s rejection of change is at the root of their tremendous financial difficulties.