Poll: Majority of American voters concerned about high ethanol mandates

76% concerned that diverting corn to energy production rather than food could result in higher food costs, contribute to world hunger

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An ethanol production plant in South Dakota.

Seventy-seven per cent of registered voters are concerned that breaching the ethanol blend wall could drive up the cost of gasoline for consumers and reduce the nation’s fuel supply (85 per cent of Republicans, 75 per cent of Democrats and 71 per cent of Independents), according to a new poll of registered voters conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of API.

“Across the political spectrum, voters are concerned about the significant damage the RFS mandate and higher ethanol blends could cause to automobiles, motorcycles and almost every type of gasoline powered engine,” API Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola told reporters on a conference call to release the poll.

“Regardless of their party affiliation, voters are concerned with mandates that try to force too much ethanol into our fuel supply.”

Macchiarola says new energy realities have made the RFS obsolete.

“Americans are not consuming as much gasoline as Congress assumed when they wrote the legislation in 2007. That means current ethanol mandates push more ethanol – far too quickly – into gasoline than today’s vehicles can safely accommodate,” he said.

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API Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola

More results from the poll:

• 77% are concerned that auto manufacturers have said that they may not provide warranty coverage for an owner’s misfueling with an ethanol blend that is over 10 percent in a vehicle not specifically designed for it. (84 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of Independents).

• 76% are concerned that diverting more corn to energy production rather than to food could result in higher food costs and contribute to world hunger. (81 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of Independents).

“We’ll use this poll to remind candidates, members of Congress and the administration that American voters are very concerned about the costs and consequences of this unworkable and unnecessary mandate,” Macchiarola said.

“It’s past time for Congress to repeal or significantly reform this program.”

The telephone study was conducted on March 22 – 29 by Harris Poll on behalf of API among 1,013 registered voters across the U.S., with a sampling error of +/- 3 percent.

 

Posted in: Energy Politics

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