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Poll: Vast majority of voters are concerned about high ethanol mandates

Carlton Carroll | | 202.682.8114

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2016 – Seventy-seven percent 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 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of Democrats and 71 percent 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.

“Our 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.”

More results from the poll:

• Seventy-seven percent 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).

• Seventy-six percent 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.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.


The telephone study was conducted on March 22 – 29, 2016, by Harris Poll on behalf of API among 1,013 registered voters across the U.S., with a sampling error of +/- 3 percent. A full methodology is available upon request.

"What America is Thinking on Energy Issues" is a public opinion series provided by API, offering data to inform policy discussions and ensure policymakers and others know Americans' perspectives on key energy issues.


What America is Thinking - Renewable Fuel Standard (April 2016)

File Size: .4 MB

What America is Thinking - RFS Charts (April 2016)

File Size: .6 MB