American consumer opinions regarding the ongoing battle between California and the EPA fall generally along party lines, a survey conducted earlier this week found.
While the conflict between the Trump administration and the state of California is constantly deepening, the catalyst for the current situation was the EPA's announcement that it would revoke the waiver that allows California to set its own emissions standards under the Clean Air Act. Autolist's survey, which was conducted in the aftermath of the announcement, shows that Republicans generally favor the administration's move, while Democrats side with California.
Respondents were also split when it came to their opinions on climate change. When asked whether they believed it was human-caused, 87 percent of Democrats responded in the affirmative, versus just 39 percent of Republicans.
When asked whether California should retain the right to set its own emissions standards, just 37 percent of Republicans said yes, while 61 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of Independents were in favor.
The divide grew even larger when respondents were asked whether they agreed with the administration's overall climate change policies. 61 percent of Republicans said yes, followed by just 26 percent of Independents and only 9 percent of Democrats.
San Francisco skyline
We reached out to Autolist for more insights regarding the survey methodology and results. According to Editor-in-Chief David Undercoffler, one of the most revealing insights was that the parties were fairly closely represented in terms of general awareness of the ongoing battle between California and the administration: 38 percent of Democrats and Independents said they were following the situation, along with 29 percent of Republicans.
While those numbers may not seem to indicate parity, they were far more balanced than the responses to other questions in the survey.
The survey was conducted via email and received 1,100 responses from consumers in every state but South Dakota. Autolist plans to conduct a follow-up survey to determine whether there are differences in opinion between residents of states which follow California's emissions protocols and those who don't.