"Polls: Americans support 60 mpg fuel economy standard; blame oil companies, OPEC for price hikes"
With gas prices soaring to near-record levels, a majority of Americans say they support an Obama Administration proposal to raise nation-wide vehicle efficiency standards to 60 mpg by 2025, according to a new report from the Consumer Federation of America. The current standard is 27.5 mpg, with the requirement moving to 35.5 mpg by 2016.
Over the last year, the amount that Americans are paying at the pump has increased dramatically. Here’s an excerpt from the report:
“‘Concern about volatile gasoline prices and support for higher standards is driven by the huge and rising bite gas expenditures are taking from household budgets””from less than $2000 in 2009 to more than $3000 this year,’ said Mark Cooper, CFA’s research director and energy expert. ‘Pain at the pump, along with the country’s oil import dependence, has produced a growing consensus that the federal government should substantially increase fuel economy standards. And among independent technical experts, there is a growing consensus that committed car companies could meet these higher standards.’”
In the survey, 62% of Republicans and 71% of Democrats supported doubling fuel efficiency standards – illustrating that when people’s wallets are impacted, efficiency and conservation are a bipartisan issue.
According to a piece in the Christian Science Monitor:
“Economic, not environmental, concerns seem to be driving attitudes about improved fuel economy, with gas prices averaging $3.81 per gallon in May, according to AAA.
‘Gas prices are the main driver of smaller vehicle or more fuel-efficient vehicle purchases,’ says Camyrn Craig, a research analyst at Kelley Blue Book, which tracks car sales. Her company found that gas mileage was a consideration for 84 percent of car buyers in April.”
Americans are looking for someone to blame too. A recent Politico Battleground poll shows that 38% of people polled blame oil and gas companies for high gas prices.
Who is to blame for high gas prices?
1. Oil and gas companies 38%
2. Exporting nations 22%
3. Obama 12%
4. Economic cycle 11%
These poll results come as Senate Democrats push for eliminating $21 billion in tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies: Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and the U.S subsidiaries of BP and Royal Dutch Shell.
– Stephen Lacey