Poll: Plan to Convert Diesel Buses to Natural Gas Has Far-Reaching Support

Utahns like the idea of a state/natural gas producer program to convert diesel buses to cleaner-burning compressed natural gas, a new UtahPolicy poll finds.

And the program would get support from Republicans, Democrats and political independents, the data collected by Dan Jones & Associates finds.

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, floated the idea via UtahPolicy several weeks ago.

Hughes hopes to put the program before the 2015 Legislature, which convenes for its annual 45-day general session in two weeks.

At the time, Hughes told UtahPolicy this is one of his “big ideas,” which could create jobs in Eastern Utah gas fields, reduce air pollution along the Wasatch Front, and financially help school districts and the Utah Transit Authority, the largest public transit operation in the state.

Jones finds that 78 percent of Utahns like the buss/CNG conversion idea. Only 14 percent would oppose it.

The Utah Legislature is dominated by Republicans. No major new programs will be adopted without GOP legislators’ approval.

And Republican lawmakers are sensitive to what their party members’ feel.

No problem there, finds Jones.

Seventy-seven percent of rank-and-file Republicans like Hughes’ idea, the poll shows. Only 17 percent of Republicans oppose it.

Democrats like the buss conversion program, 88-5 percent.

Political independents support it, 83-10 percent.

In fact, the only notable opposition comes from those who told Jones they are “very conservative” politically. A fourth of those folks oppose the idea, but 71 percent still support it.

Jones poll was of 609 registered Utah voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.97 percent.