A new survey of registered voters shows robust support for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard, while also revealing significant opposition to policies that ban liquid fuels or mandate electric vehicles. The poll was conducted for the Renewable Fuels Association by Morning Consult.
“As the new Congress settles in and begins to consider the future of our nation’s energy policy, these polling results demonstrate that Americans strongly support expanded use of lower-cost, lower-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Voters clearly want greater access to fuel blends containing more ethanol—like E15, E30, and E85—and they want to see more flex fuel vehicles made available. These results also make it apparent that Americans strongly oppose policies that would limit the availability of liquid-fueled vehicles or effectively force them to purchase electric vehicles. Overall, this survey is a strong indication that consumers understand and appreciate the environmental advantages, energy security benefits, and affordability that ethanol offers.”
According to the survey:
- Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents (65 percent) support the Renewable Fuel Standard, while only 15 percent expressed opposition to the program.
- Meanwhile, 64 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of ethanol, compared to just 18 percent unfavorable.
- Regarding higher blends, 68 percent support increasing the availability of E15 to help lower fuel prices and bolster energy independence, and 66 percent said it is important for the federal government to promote the production and sale of flex fuel vehicles (capable of running on up to 85% ethanol) in the United States.
- Three out of five (60 percent) respondents support the Next Generation Fuels Act, which would drive the use of more efficient, lower-carbon liquid fuels like E25 or E30, compared to just 18 percent who oppose such legislation.
- By a margin of nearly 3 to 1 (52 percent to 19 percent), voters support efforts to sequester carbon dioxide using underground pipelines.
Notably, Cooper said, support for ethanol and renewable fuels policy crossed party lines and includes majorities of both Republican and Democrat respondents.
The poll also found strong doubts about some policy proposals regarding electric vehicles, particularly those that eliminate consumer choice and options when it comes to vehicle purchases. Key results:
- Half (50 percent) of respondents said they were not interested in purchasing or leasing an electric vehicle in the next three years, while 42 percent expressed interest. Another 8 percent had no opinion.
- Nearly four out of five (77 percent) of voters say it is important for automakers to disclose (to potential buyers) the emissions impacts of the electricity used to power electric vehicles. Only 12 percent said transparent emissions information isn’t important.
- Two-thirds (66 percent) oppose policies that ban the sale of new cars with traditional liquid-fueled engines, with only 23 percent supporting such policies.
- Seven out of 10 respondents (69 percent) oppose EV mandates, with 54 percent expressing “strong” opposition.
- Meanwhile, 58 percent support federal funding for charging infrastructure and tax credits for electric vehicles.
RFA has been polling with Morning Consult since 2016. This survey was conducted online with 1,999 registered voters in late December 2022 and has a two-point margin of error. Click here for the topline data.