DC, June 7, 2004 (ENS): Doing more to conserve
energy by improving fuel economy in cars and trucks
is the best way to lower gas prices, a majority of Americans
surveyed in a new national poll believes. Sixty-five
percent of those questioned preferred energy conservation
as the best alternative.
The survey of likely voters last week by Greenberg Quinlan
Rosner Research for the Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC) found that 59 percent favor reducing our dependence
on foreign oil, and 53 percent favor investing more
in alternative sources of fuel like ethanol and hydrogen.
"Short-term fixes, like using the strategic petroleum
reserve or drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge do not adequately address the problem in the
eyes of most voters," the NRDC concluded from the
The most important factors behind the increased price
of gasoline in the eyes of the likely voters surveyed
are oil companies (24 percent), dependence on foreign
oil (18 percent), conflict in the Middle East (12 percent)
and OPEC (11 percent).
Forty-seven percent of those questioned think penalizing
oil companies and gas stations that gouge the public
would help keep prices down, and 29 percent think pressuring
OPEC to increase production of fuel is a good idea.
Only 24 percent believe a solution is increasing domestic
oil production, including drilling in the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, and 18 percent would like to use oil
from the strategic petroleum reserve.
Fifty-nine percent favored the NRDC's "Break the
Chain" plan, and 26 percent were opposed.
"Under this plan, the government would raise fuel
efficiency standards for cars, trucks and SUVs, increase
production of hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell cars and
use more renewable fuels such as ethanol.
Supporters say the Break the Chain plan will reduce
dependence on foreign oil, reduce global warming and
create jobs for the future, saving almost twice as much
oil as America imports from the Middle East today. Opponents
say Break the Chain will force Americans to drive smaller,
unsafe cars, will cost billions of dollars and will
destroy manufacturing jobs.
Tax breaks for drivers who buy hybrid cars, which combines
a gasoline-powered engine with an electric motor to
provide increased gas mileage and lower carbon dioxide
emissions, met with the favor of 67 percent of those
Tax credits to car manufacturers to build and market
hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell cars was approved by 64