Industry poll: Majority supports ethanol mandate

Industry poll: Majority supports ethanol mandate
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More than six in 10 voters support the law that requires that ethanol and biodiesel are blended into traditional fossil fuels, according to a poll commissioned by a biofuel industry group.

The survey, conducted by Morning Consult, found majority support for the renewable fuel standard among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters. Only 18 percent of respondents opposed it, according to the findings released Monday.

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The poll was commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), which counts among its members various companies within the ethanol and biodiesel production and distribution chain, including agriculture and fuel producers.

Bob Dinneen, president of RFA, said the results show strong support for the biofuel mandates.

“This poll clearly shows that the oil industry’s misinformation, hyperbole, and manufactured angst against the RFS is not resonating with an American public that wants competition for the pump, relief for their wallet, and lower carbon fuels for the planet,” he said in a statement.

“Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency should take note of the high level of support for the program and allow the RFS to work at the levels Congress envisioned in 2007,” he continued.

Opposition to the ethanol mandate, mainly from Republicans, has grown stronger in recent years, with opponents saying that it is expensive and cannot adapt to decreasing oil consumption, since the volume mandates have to keep increasing.

In the survey, nearly two thirds of voters said they support federal tax incentives for cellulosic ethanol, which is produced from non-edible parts of plants.

Cellulosic fuels have very limited production volumes, but the industry is hoping to make them more commercially viable, since they do not eat into food supplies.

The poll concluded that only about a third of voters support tax incentives currently given to petroleum producers and refiners, and 69 percent want automakers to be required to accommodate alternative fuels like ethanol.

— This story was updated at 11:24 a.m.