NRDC Poll Finds 79% of Americans Want Tougher Fuel Economy Standards

Blog, In the News

This report presents the findings of an telephone study conducted among 1,012 US adults ages 18 and older. Interviewing for this survey was completed from July 21-24, 2016.  This research was conducted by the Natural Resource Defense Council, and you can find the full article at

Using two probability samples: randomly selected landline telephone numbers and randomly selected mobile (cell) telephone numbers. The combined sample consists of 1,012 adults (18 years old and older) living in the continental United States. Of the 1,012 interviews, 512 were from the landline sample and 500 from the cell phone sample.

Completed interviews are weighted by five variables age, sex, geographic region, race and education ± using data from the U.S. Census Bureau to help ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population, 18 years of age and older. ‡ Where applicable, red circles indicate a significant difference at the 95% confidence level.


  • 95 percent of Americans agree with the statement: ‘Automakers should continue to improve fuel economy for all vehicle types.’ This view is held by 97 percent of Democrats, 94 percent of Independents, and 93 percent of Republicans.
  • 79 percent of Americans agree with the statement: ‘The U.S. government should continue to increase fuel efficiency standards and enforce them.’ This view is held by 90 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Independents, and 68 percent of Republicans.
  • African Americans (86 percent),18-34 year-olds (85 percent), and Millennials (84 percent) are particularly inclined to agree that: ‘The U.S. government should continue to increase fuel efficiency standards and enforce them.’


Nearly all Americans see cars and trucks as significant contributors to air pollution.



Over three quarters agree that transportation agencies should take vehicle related carbon pollution into account when developing transportation plans.


Agreement that state transportation agencies should take carbon pollution into account is strong in all generations. Millennials are the generation most likely to agree.