Ethanol polls show strong RFS support, refuting API ‘push poll’

By Susanne Retka Schill, Ethanol Producer Magazine.

Ethanol advocates were quick to counter the most recent poll from the American Petroleum Institute with their own. The API poll released April 7 shows “consumers are concerned the Renewable Fuel Standard could hurt their pocketbooks,” according to the API news release.

“Sixty-eight percent of registered voters are concerned about the government requiring increased amounts of ethanol in gasoline and 74 percent agree that federal regulations could contribute to increased costs at the pump,” said API downstream group director Frank Macchiarola. “Consumers have spoken loud and clear. The results of a new national API poll on the ethanol mandate send another strong signal to policymakers that RFS reform is desperately needed.”

API further said 70 percent of voters think the use of more corn for ethanol could increase food prices; 59 percent oppose moving the point of obligation and just 20 percent support the change; and 75 percent are concerned about government requirements that could breach the blend wall.  

The Renewable Fuels Association called the API poll a push poll where questions are framed to be biased against the biofuels program. The RFA countered with the results of its own survey conducted by Morning Consult at about the same time as Harris Poll conducted the API survey. The RFA’s survey found that 58 percent of those polled support the RFS, with only 17 percent opposed – a  more than 3:1 margin of support for the RFS.