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API Singing the Same Push Poll Tune

June 21, 2016


WASHINGTON — Today, the American Petroleum Institute (API) unveiled new anti-ethanol results from a May Harris Poll. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following response: "API, an oil trade group which has made its top priority to get rid of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), is yet again relying on push polling to foster its narrative that the public doesn't support biofuels. With its push poll, API poll suggests a remarkable 77% of voters are concerned about higher ethanol blends. "The API's poll is bunk and stands in stark contrast to a poll that Morning Consult, on behalf of RFA, conducted last week, which found that by a greater than 3:1 margin, voters support the renewable fuel standard and continuing the nation's commitment to biofuels. Additionally, the RFA found by a 2:1 margin, voters oppose efforts to reduce or repeal the RFS. The polling, of 2,001 registered voters, was conducted June 15-18, and has a margin of error of +/- 2%. "API posed its two biofuel-related polling questions in a callously misleading way. By contrast, the RFA asked no leading questions. When voters are given a question devoid of prejudice, it's amazing what happens. The American public clearly wants alternatives to Big Oil, and biofuels can help reduce our petroleum dependence, while cleaning the environment and boosting the rural economy. Here's API's first misleading question: 'As you may know, much of the gasoline in the U.S. market currently contains up to a 10% ethanol blend. Most auto manufacturers have said they will not cover vehicle damage caused by higher ethanol fuel blends. Given that situation, how concerned are you about government requirements that would increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline?' "What's the truth? Auto manufacturers explicitly approve of E15 (15% ethanol, 85% gasoline) use in more than 70% of MY2016 vehicles, according to a December 2015 RFA analysis of warranty statements and owner's manuals. But you wouldn't know it from API's biased polling question. There is not a single example of E15 destroying a consumer's engine. API's reference is so prejudicial, the result they got was preordained. Here's API's second misleading question: 'Do you agree or disagree that using even more corn for ethanol production could increase consumer prices here in the U.S. and increase hunger among the world's poor?' "A report issued just last week by the World Bank and others found that biofuels from crops do not harm food supplies, and besides, corn used for ethanol comes from field corn, not the sweet corn that humans consume. API's claim that 'even more corn for ethanol production could increase consumer prices here in the U.S. and increase hunger among the world's poor' doesn't pass muster and is another example of the desperate lengths they will go to mislead and misinform the public."