RFA: API push poll proved false by real poll

By Renewable Fuels Association | November 23, 2015

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen dismissed a push poll released Nov. 19 by the American Petroleum Institute, which claimed that a majority of voters are concerned about using ethanol in their engines and are opposed to the renewable fuel standard (RFS). Dinneen called the poll utterly dishonest and noted that the questions are so biased with prejudicial lead-in text that the data cannot be considered remotely credible.

Commenting on the absurdity of the poll questions, Dinneen stated that framing their misplaced narrative about food versus fuel, engine damage, and gasoline price impacts as questions, while blatantly ignoring all the facts to the contrary, assures a predetermined result that adds nothing to the public discourse.

Dinneen said the RFA has been conducting its own monthly surveys throughout the year to ask respondents their opinions about ethanol and the RFS. He noted the RFA surveys, which have been conducted by Morning Consult, have consistently shown strong support among the public for the RFS. November’s survey asked 2,001 (twice the number surveyed by API) registered voters for their opinions on biofuels and the RFS. Dinneen pointed out that RFA’s questions were straightforward and balanced, as opposed to those posed by API. When asked in the RFA survey whether they supported the RFS, 62 percent of respondents indicated that they supported the RFS, while 16 percent of respondents indicated they opposed the program. In fact, the RFA poll found that a majority of voters (52 percent) think the RFS should be expanded.

“I would like to say that I am shocked API has stooped to such measures as trying to promote an obvious push poll, containing extremely biased questions, as a credible indication of public sentiment about the RFS and ethanol, but I am not,” said Dinneen. “API will do anything and everything in its power to ensure that its monopoly on the marketplace continues. Our data shows when you ask the public fair and balanced questions about the RFS, you see that it clearly supports the ethanol industry. The public wants safe, affordable fuel, and that’s what the RFS allows them to have each and every time they head to a fueling station to fill up their engines.”

Here are examples of questions asked by the API poll and the RFA survey. Judge for yourselves:

API poll question: “Over 40 percent of U.S. corn production is currently used to produce ethanol for gasoline. This significantly diverts corn away from the global food supply. Given that, how concerned are you that using even more corn for ethanol production could increase food prices here in the U.S. and increase hunger among the world’s poor?”

RFA survey question: “As you may know there is currently a renewable fuel standard that requires a certain amount of fuel produced each year to come from ethanol, bio-diesel and other renewable resources that aren’t fossil fuels. Do you support or oppose this requirement?”