[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Auto State Gives Overwhelming Support for Raising Fuel-Economy Standards

Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <daniel.farough@sierraclub.org>

News from
Michigan Sierra Club
109 East Grand River, Lansing, MI 48906 Phone (517) 484-2372 Fax (517)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE										              CONTACT:
January 31, 2002
 										Alison Horton	 (231)-922-2201
										Dan Farough (517) 484-2372
Auto State Gives Overwhelming Support for Raising Fuel-Economy Standards
88 Percent of Michigan UAW Households Give Thumbs-Up
 to Higher Miles-Per-Gallon Standards

Lansing—An eye-popping new poll released today finds that voters in
Michigan—epicenter of the American auto industry—overwhelmingly support
making America's cars, SUVs and light trucks go farther on a gallon of gas.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the poll, conducted by Lake, Snell, Perry &
Associates for the Sierra Club, found that Michigan households with a United
Auto Worker (UAW) member are even more likely to favor tougher fuel-economy

"Autoworker households in Michigan overwhelmingly supported raising
fuel-economy standards to 40 miles per gallon," said Celinda Lake, President
of Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates.  "We found that support is high in part
because Michigan voters, including UAW households, believe that increasing
standards will create jobs and help the economy.  It may run contrary to
conventional wisdom, but in the hotbed of America's auto industry, voters
want cars and SUVs to go farther on a gallon of gas."

According to the poll results, 77 percent of Michigan voters favor
increasing standards to 40 miles per gallon over the next ten years, 51
percent of whom strongly favor increasing standards.  An even higher
percentage of UAW households—84 percent—favor increasing fuel economy
standards to 40 miles per gallon over the next ten years, 57 percent of whom
strongly favor increasing standards.  Strong majorities of voters favor this
proposal across all demographic and political subgroups.

Poll results show that support for increasing fuel economy standards to 40
mpg in the next ten years remains strong even when presented with the
auto-industry's argument that "requiring increased average mileage increases
the burden of regulation on the American car industry, costs jobs and adds
hundreds of dollars to the purchase price of cars."  After hearing both
sides of the debate, voters rejected that argument by a margin of 76 to 17
percent, and UAW households rejected the argument by the margin of 80 to 14

"Raising auto fuel economy standards is an essential element to a balanced
energy plan that offers quicker, cleaner, cheaper and safer energy
solutions, and this poll illustrates that support is strong even in the home
state of the auto industry—the loudest opponents to strong fuel-economy
standards," said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.
“Americans recognize that by raising fuel economy standards we can reduce
our dependence on oil without sacrificing the wild places Americans love.”

According to Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates, one likely reason underlying
the strong support for increasing CAFE standards in Michigan is that voters
and UAW households believe that increasing standards will create jobs and
help the economy.  A plurality of voters, 43 percent, believe increasing
fuel economy standards would create jobs and help the economy, compared to
only 19 percent who believe it would cost jobs.  Half of UAW households, 50
percent, believe increased standards would create jobs compared to only 14
percent who say jobs would be lost as a result.

“We have got to make the next generation of cars right away," said Mike
Keeler, UAW member in Flint.  "We cannot afford to let our competition get
ahead of us like we did in 1970s.  CAFE standards provide a stimulus to keep
us moving and innovative."

A recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists demonstrated that
raising standards to 40 mpg would create 40,000 jobs in the auto industry by
2010 and would save car owners $3000 to more than $5000 at the gas pump over
the life of a vehicle.

The poll was conducted by nationally respected pollster Lake, Snell, Perry &
Associates between January 7th and January 15th.  The survey reached 650
registered, likely voters in the State of Michigan, and included an
oversample of 150 UAW households.

For a copy of the Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates polling memo, please call
Dan Farough at (517)-484-2372


ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"