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New Poll Finds Growing Bipartisan Support for RFS and Ethanol

June 10, 2021



A recent poll found that voter support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has hit its highest levels in at least five years.  Meanwhile, the tracking poll shows support for the use of biofuels like low-carbon ethanol has remained consistently high, with a bipartisan majority of voters expressing a favorable opinion.  The benchmark poll was conducted at the end of May by Morning Consult, a Washington polling and news site, on behalf of the Renewable Fuel Association.


The poll found that 64 percent of respondents support the Renewable Fuel Standard, with 29 percent expressing “strong support.” This is the highest level of “strong support” for the RFS recorded since RFA began the tracking poll in 2016. It also marks the second-highest level of total support for the RFS, trailing only the two most recent polls (May 2020 and February 2021) that both found 66 percent support for the program.


“Even in times of political division and polarization, the need for cleaner, greener American-made fuels is a uniting issue,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “A bipartisan majority of voters support the RFS specifically and ethanol generally, and it is apparent that they want their elected officials to protect the integrity and longevity of the RFS program. Renewable fuels clearly are an area where we can find common ground and bridge broad divides.”

Among registered voters, 72 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Independents hold a favorable opinion of ethanol.  Similarly, the poll found that 76 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans supported the RFS, along with 57 percent of Independents.


The poll saw an uptick in respondents who reported a very favorable opinion of ethanol since last year, suggesting that more voters view themselves as champions and advocates for renewable fuels. Of those polled, 23 percent reported a very favorable opinion, compared to 13 percent in May 2020.


The desire for energy security is a key driver of support for biofuels. Among voters who have a favorable opinion of ethanol, being made in America was the attribute that contributed most to their favorable opinion of the fuel, of the options tested. Ethanol’s lower carbon footprint and affordability were the second and third most important attributes, respectively, according to the poll.


The poll was conducted from May 27 to 31, 2021, among a sample of 1,988 registered voters.


Ken Colombini