Survey Finds RFS Support Among Voters

A Voter Survey Finds Support for Ethanol, Opposition to State Electric Vehicle Mandates

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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A Renewable Fuels Association-sponsored survey of registered voters found support for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- With the new Congress off and running, the Renewable Fuels Association released survey results that show continued support from registered voters for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

As is the case following congressional elections in years prior, ethanol and biofuel interest groups begin the unenviable task of educating new members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate about their industries and federal policies that aid biofuels production.

In addition, the survey found that registered voters don't support mandates to expand electric vehicle use.

The RFA on Monday released the results of a December 2022 online survey of 1,999 registered voters, with 65% of respondents indicating they support the RFS and 15% oppose it. The survey has a 2-point margin of error, according to an RFA news release.

When it comes to ethanol, the survey found a "favorable opinion" among 64% of respondents compared to 18% "unfavorable."

During the past two years, public debate has centered on the viability of expanding electric vehicle availability and use and whether to expand biofuels production as a way to decrease carbon emissions in the transportation sector.

The RFA survey explored voter attitudes about EVs and biofuels.

Fifty percent of respondents said they were not interested in buying or leasing an EV during the next three years, while 42% expressed interest.

Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents said it was important for automakers to disclose to potential buyers the emissions effects of electricity used to power electric vehicles.

Although states like California are taking steps to ban the sale of new internal combustion vehicles, the RFA survey found 66% of respondents opposed such policies, while 23% said they support such bans.

The survey also found 69% oppose EV mandates and 54% expressed "strong" opposition to mandates.

When it comes to expanding availability of higher ethanol blends, the survey found 68% support expanding E15 markets to help lower fuel prices and bolster energy independence.

Sixty-six percent said it was important for the federal government to promote the production and sale of flexible-fuel vehicles in the U.S.

This past year, members of Congress introduced the Next Generation Fuels Act, which would expand higher ethanol blends up to E30. The RFA survey found 60% supported the legislation while 18% said they oppose the measure.

In addition, the survey found 52% support and 19% opposition to efforts to sequester carbon dioxide using underground pipelines.

"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," RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper said in a news release.

"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."

Read the survey results here: https://files.constantcontact.com/….

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

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Todd Neeley

Todd Neeley
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