RFA, Growth Energy speak out against API poll results

By Erin Voegele | October 02, 2013

The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy are disputing the results of a new poll released by the American Petroleum Institute, calling the data biased and deceptive. The RFA noted that two polls performed earlier this year found that most Americans support the renewable fuel standard (RFS) and want a renewable fuels choice at their gas station.

According to the API, its poll determined that 77 percent of likely voters says they are concerned that ethanol blends above E10 could damage vehicles. The poll also linked food price increases to biofuels, finding that 69 percent of voters said that they believed using more corn for ethanol could increase consumer grocery prices. In addition, 66 percent of those responding to the poll said that they believe federal regulations could drive up the cost of gas.

The poll was conducted via telephone in mid-September by Harris Interactive on behalf of API. According to the API, 1,034 registered voters participated.

In response, the RFA pointed the results of a poll it sponsored this year, as well as one sponsored by Fuels America. In February, the RFA released the results of poll conducted by American Viewpoint, which determined 64 percent of adults support the RFS. The Fuels America poll, conducted by Research Now this summer, determined 73 percent favor the RFS and 75 percent want more renewable fuel options at gas station.

The RFA also said it can agree on the fact that all consumers need more education and awareness of E15, noting “the more you know, the more you want it.”

“If Big Oil push polled any harder, they would have broken respondents’ arms to get the biased answers they sought. This poll is yet another insincere stunt concocted by API to attack the RFS and higher level ethanol blends. If you want to see scary numbers, just look at the outrageous profits oil companies are posting thanks to their monopoly on the fuel market. It is bad enough that Americans are held hostage to environmentally damaging, expensive oil,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA.

 “The oil industry’s cycle of mistruth continues, how much longer can they attempt to deceive the public before the facts catch up to them? Higher blends like E15 are a choice – voluntary for the consumer and the retailer,” said Tom Buis, Growth Energy CEO. “And they are safe for all vehicles 2001 and newer. E15 has been the most tested fuel in our nation’s history. All the biofuels industry is asking for is the opportunity to compete in a fair and open marketplace.”

Buis also noted that corn prices are currently trading at levels lower than before the current RFS program was enacted in 2007, and pointed to a World Bank study that found crude oil prices are responsible for 50 percent of the increase in food prices since 2004.

“Consumers have shown time and again, they want the ability to choose less expensive and cleaner burning renewable fuels at pump, but API and Big Oil’s special interests continue to deny consumers that choice,” said Buis. “They continue to employ misinformation and scare tactics in attempts to repeal a policy that is helping reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs at home and improve our environment.