New poll: 62 percent of Americans support the RFS

By Renewable Fuels Association | April 27, 2015

On April 27, Morning Consult released the results of a national survey conducted on behalf of the Renewable Fuels Association. Morning Consult contacted 2,047 registered voters on April 5–7. The results show that Americans overwhelmingly support the renewable fuel standard (RFS) as 62 percent came out in support of the RFS while only 18 percent opposed the successful policy. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of ± 2 percent.

Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA, commented on the new poll, stating, “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. More than six in ten Americans understand the economic, environmental, and national security benefits of the RFS. 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. Failure to do so only rewards the recalcitrant incumbent industry, jeopardizes investment in new innovative technologies, and ignores an American public intent upon moving our nation’s energy future forward.”

Key Takeaways:

More than six in 10 support the RFS
Nearly two in three registered voters (62 percent) support the RFS, which requires a certain amount of the fuel produced each year to come from ethanol, biodiesel and other renewable sources that are not fossil fuels. The RFS garners broad, bipartisan support from democrats (65 percent), independents (61 percent) and republicans (57 percent) alike. Less than two in 10 voters (18 percent) oppose the standard and two in 10 have no opinion (20 percent).

Strong support for federal tax incentives on cellulosic ethanol expansion
Federal tax incentives to assist funding of cellulosic ethanol—a biofuel produced from wood, grasses and other non-edible parts of plants—receive support from two-thirds of voters (65 percent).

Voters oppose tax incentives for oil companies
Fifty-one percent of voters oppose tax incentives given by the federal government to oil companies in order to help pay for such things as equipment depreciation, oil depletion allowances, and foreign investment tax credits for taxes they pay in foreign countries. Only about one-third of voters (34 percent) support such government assistance to oil companies and 15 percent have no opinion.

Seven in 10 support requiring automobile manufacturers to build alternative fuel cars
Sixty-nine percent of registered voters support requiring automobile manufacturers to build cars that will run on fuel sources other than oil, such as electricity, natural gas and biofuels.

Key Data:

- 65percent of men and 58 percent of women support the RFS

- 70 percent of voters with a bachelor’s degree and 69 percent of government employees support the RFS

- 68 percent of democrats, 65 percent of independents and 62 percent of republicans support federal tax incentives to help fund the expansion of cellulosic ethanol

- By more than a 30-point margin, voters support federal tax incentives to expand the use of cellulosic ethanol over those for oil companies

- 57 percent of independent voters oppose federal tax incentives for oil companies

- 85 percent of democratic men support requiring auto manufacturers to build alternative fuel cars