WASHINGTON — For the third year in a row, Americans, by an overwhelming majority, consistently support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and other key federal initiatives supporting the expanded use of ethanol. A new national poll conducted by American Viewpoint found 65 percent of adults support the RFS, while just 26 percent are opposed. Support for the RFS has been steadily rising. In 2013, 64 percent polled supported the policy, up from 61 percent in 2012.
As you may know, there is currently a renewable fuels standard that requires a certain amount of the fuel produced each year to come from ethanol, bio-diesel and other renewable sources that aren’t fossil fuels to reduce foreign oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. Do you favor or oppose this requirement?
Don’t Know: 8%
RFA’s President and CEO Bob Dinneen commented, “It is telling that support for the RFS continues to grow in spite of the relentless attacks on ethanol and the RFS financed by Big Oil’s deep pockets. Repeatedly Americans have decisively said they place a premium on energy independence, job creation, and a cleaner environment. For these reasons and more, Americans overwhelmingly support the RFS for its ability to strengthen this great nation. Members of Congress and the Obama Administration should review this data before taking action to reduce or eliminate a program with broad national appeal and tangible energy and environmental benefits.”
Expanding on the polling results, Dinneen continued, “Americans see great value in investing in the next generation of fuel, cellulosic ethanol, and they support the idea of an open fuel standard which encourages the manufacturing of cars that run on any number of alternatives to petroleum. In fact, Americans appear to have a visceral dislike for the billions and billions of dollars in government subsidies and special tax treatment that Big Oil has enjoyed for 100 years.”
The government has considered giving incentives to help fund the expansion of a new fuel known as Cellulosic ethanol, which is a biofuel produced from wood, grasses and other non-edible parts of plants. Do you favor or oppose these incentives?
Don’t Know: 9%
Do you favor or oppose requiring automobile manufacturers to build cars that will run on fuel sources other than oil, such as electricity, natural gas and bio-fuels?
Don’t Know: 3%
As you may know, oil companies receive four to five billion dollars in government subsidies and special tax treatment and incentives for things like equipment depreciation, oil depletion allowances, and foreign investment tax credits for taxes they pay in foreign countries. Do you favor or oppose these tax incentives?
Don’t know: 11%
The new poll was commissioned by RFA and conducted by American Viewpoint. The poll was conducted via phone with a sample size of 1,000 adults. Margin of error in the poll is +/- 3.1 percent. Approximately 40 percent of respondents were contacted by cell phone.
Linda DiVall, President of American Viewpoint, analyzed several keys themes from the polling results:
“Despite the barrage of negative advertising targeting ethanol recently, ethanol’s image has held strong, largely unchanged from last year. More telling is the fact that the unfavorable rating of oil companies has climbed five percentage points to 47 percent, with a plurality of Americans rating oil companies unfavorably.”
“That rise in negative opinion of oil companies certainly manifests itself in the 66 percent of adults polled who desire a level playing field among fuels and resent the subsidies and special treatment oil companies have held onto at the expense of the American taxpayer.”
DiVall concluded, “The ethanol industry must not be deterred from telling its story. It should stand proudly and champion its ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gases, lower our dependence on foreign oil, create quality jobs, and reduce fuel costs for American drivers. Ethanol, thanks in large part to the RFS, is a fuel with a proven track record of success and a promising future.”