Americans support curbing transportation emissions — poll

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, August 5, 2016

Most Americans are on board with the Obama administration’s strategy for cutting transportation-related carbon pollution, according to a new poll commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The poll asked 1,012 Americans from both political parties how they felt about specific efforts to reduce carbon pollution.

It found that 79 percent of Americans want the government to continue increasing fuel efficiency standards and 78 percent of Americans agree that “state transportation agencies should take vehicle-related carbon pollution and climate change into account when developing transportation plans, and also seek ways to reduce that pollution.”

U.S. EPA is currently in the process of reviewing its fuel economy standards, while the Department of Transportation recently proposed requiring local agencies to measure pollution created by their transportation systems.

“Our poll shows Americans have just two words to say about clean transportation: ‘Floor it.’ Americans want cleaner cars, and better planning that green-lights transportation options that save money, reduces the use of oil and improves our air, health and quality of life,” said Pete Altman, director of federal campaigns at NRDC, in a statement.

The poll has a margin of error of 3 points at 95 percent confidence and was conducted as part of ORC International’s annual omnibus poll.

The poll comes as new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that the transportation sector has produced more carbon pollution than any other sector of the economy over the last 12 months. This is the first time carbon emissions from transportation have exceeded those from the electric power, industrial and residential sectors since 1979.

John Olivieri, national campaign director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, says the data only further prove that the nation needs programs like the one being proposed at DOT to reduce pollution.

“It is increasingly clear that there is no path to combating climate change that doesn’t adequately address carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions from transportation,” said Olivieri. “While carbon pollution from transportation is a major problem, the good news is that the tools and technology we need to transition to a carbon-free transportation system already exist. What’s needed now is the political will at the federal, state and local levels to take meaningful action.”