Rust Belt residents want 60 mpg standard by 2025, survey says

The vast majority of Michigan and Ohio residents say they want to see a mandate for automakers to meet a 60 mile-per-gallon fuel efficiency standard by 2025, according to a new survey.

The vast majority of Michigan and Ohio residents say they want to see a mandate for automakers to meet a 60 mile-per-gallon fuel efficiency standard by 2025, according to a new survey.

A poll of eight hundred voters each from Michigan and Ohio indicated that most people believe the standard -- which would require automakers to produce vehicles that, across their entire product portfolio, average to 60 miles per gallon -- would create jobs and spur innovation.

That's according to a poll conducted by the Mellman Group for environmentally-minded nonprofit organization Ceres.

The figures:

  • 79% of Ohio voters and 78% of Michigan voters support a 60 mpg standard. 60% and 58%, respectively, "strongly" support it.
  • 80% of Ohio voters and 76% of Michigan voters believe a national 60 mpg standard will "encourage American car makers to innovate, boosting sales and protecting American auto jobs."
  • 59% of Ohio voters and 56% of Michigan voters believe costs related to increasing vehicle fuel efficiency will be outweighed by benefits.

Both states are in the Midwest, the hub of the American manufacturing industry.

The interesting highlight from these statistics is not the figures themselves -- anyone paying $4 per gallon of gasoline would agree -- but the way the questions were phrased. Instead of focusing on gas savings, the poll instead framed the standard through a lens of economy and policy -- and still, participants supported it.

With energy security, economic success and environmental issues converging, have we reached a tipping point on the energy issue -- at least as it pertains to the auto industry? These responses suggest so.

Photo: Chrysler Group/Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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