According to a poll released by Small Business Majority on Nov. 14, 2011, 80% of small business owners surveyed in California, 81% in Michigan and 86% in Ohio agree that it is important for the United States to take action now to increase fuel efficiency in cars and light trucks. Additionally, 75% of small business owners in California, 73% in Michigan and 76% in Ohio support requiring the auto industry to reduce carbon emissions that cause climate change from cars, pickup trucks, minivans and SUVs.
According to a poll released by Small Business Majority on Sept. 20, 2011, 87% of small business owners surveyed agree that improving innovation and energy efficiency are good ways to increase prosperity for small businesses. Of employers surveyed, 76% support the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of carbon emissions and 80% support requiring the auto industry to increase fuel efficiency standards to 60 miles per gallon. Additionally, 46% of small business owners say the biggest problem facing their business is economic uncertainty, while only 13% say regulations are their businesses’ problem and 23% say it’s taxes. Small businesses are looking for strong clean energy policies that small business owners see as precursors to innovation.
On July 29, 2011, Small Business Majority released the findings of a national opinion poll on fuel efficiency standards that found 87% of small business owners overwhelmingly support adopting strong fuel efficiency standards now, and 80% support requiring the auto industry to increase mileage to 60 mpg by 2025. The poll was released the same day President Obama announced the details of a highly anticipated deal with automakers to increase federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks to 54.5 mpg by 2025.
Small Business Majority supports policies that will save small businesses money and have a positive impact on the economy and job creation. These include measures such as Home Star, the Building Star Energy Efficiency Rebate Program, the Clean Energy for Homes and Buildings Act and federal loans for on-bill financing. All are focused on providing small business owners with financial incentives and access to capital so they can take advantage of new technologies that reduce energy bills, increase savings, and free up cash so they can expand and hire new employees.
The Clean Air Act, which was passed in 1970, has ushered in years of technological innovation, job creation and expanded U.S. exports—things that benefit small businesses and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth. Recent efforts in Congress to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to enforce the Clean Air Act have jeopardized the years of success this law has created along with the financial and economic advantages passed on to small businesses and the millions they employ.
Provisions of the Clean Air Act, like new fuel standards that not only reduce pollution but also save a small business more than $3,000 per vehicle in its fleet, are important to continue America’s tradition of innovation and technological leadership in the global economy.
Read Small Business Majority’s report on the Clean Air Act’s economic benefits to businesses and the economy.
California’s Global Warming Solutions Act—often referred to as AB 32—is an example of how states can take the lead in reducing carbon pollution and providing new opportunities for small business in every sector of the economy. Increased investments spurred by laws such as this, in addition to an infusion of new money from energy savings, benefit small businesses’ bottom lines and help ignite job creation. And, they provide small businesses with new customers who purchase the goods and services they sell, particularly for small businesses that invent, build and maintain clean energy and energy efficiency technologies. AB 32 serves as a model policy for states around the country to use as they work to pass climate legislation in the absence of a federal law.
Federal policies that limit greenhouse gas emissions and open the floodgates for investments in the clean energy sector of the economy are key to creating a 21st century economy led by small businesses and all the talent they employ. Small Business Majority supports comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation on the federal level that provides the long-term market signal necessary to encourage investments and research in this ever-growing part of the economy that already contributes billions annually and creates new small business jobs.
View opinion research Small Business Majority conducted nationally and in select states on small business owners’ views on comprehensive clean energy legislation.