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69% of Voters Support Tier 3 Pollution Standards

A majority of voters — 69 percent — supports the EPA setting stricter standards on gasoline and tighter emissions standards for cars, SUVs and trucks, according to the American Lung Association’s latest survey.

The telephone survey of 800 registered voters found a 2-to-1 majority (62 to 32 percent) support the Tier 3 standards that limit sulfur in gasoline and tighten the limits on tailpipe emissions from new vehicles.

And even after hearing opposing arguments — that cars are already cleaner, that this proposal would cost families thousands of dollars, and that it would increase the cost of gas nine cents per gallon — the majority of voters surveyed (53 percent) still favored setting stricter standards on gasoline.

Paul G. Billings, senior vice president of the American Lung Association, says implementing these gasoline standards would remove as much pollution as taking 33 million cars off the road, prevent tens of thousands of asthma attacks and save thousands of lives annually.

Other findings:

  • Only 17 percent of voters say the EPA is exceeding its legal mandate to ensure air quality.
  • By a 2-to-1 ratio, voters still view the EPA and the Clean Air Act very positively.
  • Only 18 percent of voters nationally give Congress a favorable rating, while 64 percent rate Congress unfavorably.
  • A slightly higher number (20 percent) have a favorable view of oil companies, while 53 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of oil companies.
  • Some 30 percent view gasoline refineries favorably; 35 percent give them an unfavorable rating.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies conducted the polling.

Earlier this month, a group of manufacturers, investors, labor activists and environmentalists including Ceres, Natural Resources Defense Council, NGK Automotive Ceramics USA and others sent a letter to President Obama urging him to finalize the Tier 3 standards this year.

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