Just want to consumers think about renewable fuels? A new poll, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association, but independently conducted by American Viewpoint, offers interesting insight into that question. Conducted as Congress mulls over a range of biofuel-related issues, the poll could add information to the debate.
"The poll results pretty much match the legislative agenda of the Renewable Fuels Association," says Bob Dinneen, CEO of RFA. "The poll asked if consumers would support the renewable fuels standard and they said yes by a two-to-one margin with 61% in favor of the RFS."
Another area the poll covered is the controversial topic of E15 blended gasoline. Often Dinneen says you'll hear people say consumers don't want the fuel. The poll counters that fact showing that 58% of Americans would purchase E15 if it were available. "That's a startling number given the opposition people have tried to generate over that," he says.
Another surprising statistic was consumer interest in what essentially would be an open fuel standard. The idea, which is floating through Congress, would promote cars that can run on something besides gasoline. In fact, 75% of respondents - which Dinneen says surprised him - favored the idea with only 20% opposed. "Clearly Americans recognize our dependence on foreign oil and that we need to take strong actions," he notes.
Dineen adds that the poll was written and conducted by American Viewpoint with no input from RFA. "We went to American Viewpoint and told them we wanted to assess the public support of these various issues. They drafted the questions, we didn't. These are difficult numbers for members of Congress to dismiss," he says.
You can listen to an interview with Dinneen on the Ethanol report, just click on the audio link on this page.