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Fuel Efficiency, Alternative Fuels Are a Top Concern for Americans, Survey Shows

April 23, 2008

When given a list of seven technology categories to possibly target and invest money and resources over the next 10 years, 37 percent of U.S. respondents selected “fuel efficiency and alternative fuels” as their leading choice, according to a national survey commissioned by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) in Virginia. The remaining choices provided by the survey, which was conducted in March 2008, were as follows (ranked by overall popularity):

  • Medical – 30 percent;
  • Environment – 14 percent;
  • Security and defense – 10 percent;
  • Transportation – 3 percent;
  • Space exploration – 3 percent;
  • Telecommunications and media – 2 percent; and,
  • Don’t know/Not sure – 1 percent.

While pursuing green energy strategies may be the top choice for respondents as a whole, slight differences appear within the survey’s demographic groups. About 33 percent of women selected medical technologies as their top choice, making it the highest category for women. This was followed by 30 percent of women naming fuel efficiency and alternative fuels as being the highest priority. Forty-three percent of men selected fuel efficiency and alternative fuels as their top priority.
For 46 percent of college graduates, fuel efficiency and alternative fuels was their top choice. Comparatively, this same priority was ranked first by only 31 percent of those with a high school degree or less – with medical technologies being favored instead. In addition, the older survey participants were, the more they selected fuel efficiency and alternative fuels as their top choice. It was the top priority for 42 percent of those 55 and older, 37 percent of 35-to-54-year-olds, and 31 percent for 18-to-34-year-olds.
The press release for the survey, which contains information about polling on the same question in the U.K., is available at: http://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org/08releases/apr03-08.htm. The results from the U.K. reverse the top two priorities of fuels and medicine but closely parallel the U.S. responses, otherwise.