Poll Shows More Than Two-Thirds of Americans Are Happy with Their Air Quality

More Americans Concerned with Economic Harm of Increasing Federal Regulations Than Environmental Benefit

Washington, D.C., June 18, 2015 – According to a poll released by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), 67 percent rate their local air quality as excellent or good and more than half oppose stricter federal environmental regulations on local businesses. The poll was conducted to gauge public opinion as the federal government considers the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed ozone rule. If implemented, the proposed ozone standard could be the most expensive regulation in our nation’s history, with an annual cost of $140 billion.

“Overwhelmingly, Americans recognize the improving quality of our nation’s air, made possible by the hard work of manufacturers in the United States,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “At a time when we’re making progress on our environment while facing a sluggish economy, the President’s charge to upend what is working and stifle job creation doesn’t make sense.”

“Manufacturers across the country will feel the impact of this tightened ozone standard, and that is especially true of Neenah Enterprises,” said Tom Riordan, president and CEO of Neenah Enterprises and chair of the NAM’s Small and Medium Manufacturers Group. “If the administration moves forward with a more stringent standard, we will be faced with regulatory restrictions that may keep us from expanding and inflict enormous costs. For years, we have worked with state and local leaders in Wisconsin to make huge strides to do our part to improve air quality. It’s frustrating that Washington would step in now and impose new rules that would undermine our ability to balance economic growth and environmental progress.”

Key findings in the poll include the following:

  • By a nearly three-to-one margin, Americans think that a bigger problem for their local area is “less economic growth and job opportunities caused by regulations” (66 percent) rather than “lower air quality caused by pollution” (23 percent).
  • More than three out of four (76 percent) respondents believe that stricter federal air quality regulations would increase their taxes; 65 percent believe they would make it harder for local businesses to start or grow; and 78 percent believe they would increase costs on everyday goods and services.
  • Most respondents prefer that decisions about federal air quality be handled by local officials (46 percent) or state officials (29 percent). Less than one out of five (18 percent) respondents think the federal government should have more of a say over air quality regulations in their state or local area.

To learn more about how the proposed ozone regulation will impact manufacturers, vist our website.

The poll of 1,000 registered voters was conducted by FTI Consulting and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.09 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.