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Two-Thirds of Voters Nationwide Support Investments in Zero-Emission School Buses

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Today, the American Lung Association released new poll results showing that an overwhelming majority (68%) of American voters – across all major demographic groups – support Congress investing in zero-emission school buses for children nationwide.

The poll findings are released as Congress considers a major infrastructure package, including a proposal to invest $20 billion to transition one-fifth of the country’s school buses from diesel-powered vehicles to electric, zero-emission buses. The findings also come on the heels of President Biden’s remarks on his Build Back Better Agenda calling for the immediate transition to healthier school buses.

“Close to 25 million kids ride to school every day on diesel-powered school buses that emit millions of tons of pollution per year,” said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “All children deserve to travel to and from school safely, without inhaling dangerous exhaust fumes. The toxic pollution in diesel exhaust can harm children’s brain development and respiratory health.”

The nationwide support for zero-emission buses aligns with state-level polling results. In Arizona and Georgia, majorities of voters (69% in Arizona; 64% in Georgia) support the transition to zero-emission buses. In West Virginia, a majority of voters (60%) agree that it’s important to invest in electric vehicles, like buses, in order to reduce the impact of harmful pollution on children’s health.

Administered by Global Strategy Group, the poll also shows that majorities of voters think that transitioning to zero-emission school buses will spur American innovation, benefit the health of children, and help effectively combat climate change.

Key findings from the poll include: 

  • More than two-thirds of voters (68%) support the proposal to invest $20 billion in the transition from diesel-powered vehicles to zero-emission school buses.
  • An overwhelming majority of voters (70%) of voters agree that transitioning school bus fleets to zero-emission buses is an important part of improving America’s transportation infrastructure.
  • 82% of voters agree that reducing air pollution around children is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it’s just common sense.
  • 72% of voters prefer that school buses operating in their own communities be zero-emission instead of diesel.
  • 71% of voters support making significant investments in clean technologies like zero-emission school buses as part of our effort to rebuild the economy.
  • Support for zero-emission buses continued at the state level:
    • In Arizona, 69% of voters support the proposal to invest $20 billion in the transition from diesel-powered vehicles to zero-emission school buses. 71% agree that transitioning school bus fleets to zero-emission buses would be an important investment in our children’s future.
    • In Georgia, 63% of voters support the $20 billion investment. 66% agree that America should make significant investments in clean technologies like zero-emission buses as part of our effort to rebuild the economy.
    • In West Virginia, 60% of voters agree that it is important to invest in zero-emission vehicles, like buses, to reduce air pollution around children. In addition, 55% of voters prefer that school buses operating in their own communities be zero-emission instead of diesel.
    • Overwhelming majorities of voters across all three states – Arizona (85%), Georgia (81%) and West Virginia (83%) – agree that school bus fleets are an important part of America’s transportation infrastructure.

“Support for the transition to zero-emission buses is overwhelming and broad and remains robust even after voters heard simulated arguments from both sides,” said Andrew Baumann, Senior Vice President at Global Strategy Group.

“The transition to zero-emission school buses is a smart investment that will not only improve children’s health, but can also save school districts money in the long-term. The proposed $20 billion investment is critical to jump-starting this transition,” said Wimmer. “Congress and the Biden Administration should continue to prioritize funding for zero-emission school buses as part of the infrastructure package. Our children deserve no less.”

The analysis memo from Global Strategy Group can be found online.

Methodology:
Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 1,005 registered voters nationwide between July 1 -8, 2021. The survey had a confidence interval of+/-3.1%. Global Strategy Group also conducted 414 interviews of Arizona voters (confidence interval of +/-4.8%); 421 interviews of Georgia voters (confidence interval of +/-4.8%); and 402 interviews of West Virginia voters (confidence interval of +/-4.9%). Care has been taken to ensure the geographic, demographic, and political divisions among registered voters are properly represented.