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By More than 2 to 1, Americans Support Ethanol
by Kelly Nyberg

A recent poll demonstrates that, despite negative press toward the industry in recent months, American voters are supportive of increasing the use of ethanol by more than 2 to 1.

The national poll, conducted June 23 through July 1, sampled 1200 registered voters, including an oversample of environmentalists and opinion leaders. Two of the nation’s most respected polling firms conducted the research – Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a Democratic research and strategic consulting firm, and Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican survey research company.

The results demonstrate that voters are looking past the recent PR campaigns, like that by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which blame ethanol for rising food prices. Even though at least 65 percent of those polled had heard “something” about ethanol through the news in the last month and 28 percent had heard “a lot” about the issue, 43 percent say it has not made a difference in their opinion and 30 percent say it has made them feel more positive toward ethanol.

About half of those polled blame fuel costs – not biofuels – for the increase in food prices. Fewer than 1 in 10 voters agreed with the campaigns to pin blame on ethanol. At a time of increasing divisiveness, the poll also found that a majority of both Republicans (58 percent) and Democrats (63 percent) agree on expanding the use of ethanol. Half of those polled say that they would be more likely to vote for a Presidential candidate who supports renewable fuels.

“These poll results are of profound importance to biofuels supporters for three key reasons,” says Brian Jennings, executive vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol. “First, the poll clearly indicates that voters blame oil prices, not ethanol, for food price increases, a conclusion that is supported by the facts. Second, the results indicate that millions of dollars of PR attacks against ethanol are not convincing voters that the nation should retreat on ethanol policy. Third, conventional wisdom would suggest the oversamples of self-described ‘environmentalists’ and opinion-formers would have skewed the results against ethanol, when in fact the poll indicates these categories strongly support ethanol.”

“While we cannot and will not rest on our laurels, this bipartisan poll shows that voters continue to strongly support moving forward with ethanol production and use in the U.S,” Jennings said

 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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