New API poll shows consumers concerned about potential increasing costs of ethanol mandate

April 7, 2017

Today API Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola released a new poll showing that consumers are concerned the Renewable Fuel Standard could hurt their pocket books.

"Sixty-eight percent of registered voters are concerned about the government requiring increased amounts of ethanol in gasoline and 74 percent agree that federal regulations could contribute to increased costs at the pump," said Macchiarola.

"Consumers have spoken loud and clear. The results of a new national API poll on the ethanol mandate send another strong signal to policymakers that RFS reform is desperately needed.

"Nearly 85 percent of vehicles on the road today were not designed for higher ethanol blends, such as E15. And many automakers say that using E15 could potentially void new car warranties. Higher ethanol blends threaten engines and fuel systems - potentially forcing drivers to pay for costly repairs, according to industry testing. And the public remains uneasy about that, with three quarters of respondents expressing concern about breaching the blend wall.

"We continue to urge Congress to pass legislation to fix the program, but until there is a fix, EPA should provide relief from the unreasonable statutory mandate."

Other poll results:

  • 70 percent of voters think the use of more corn for ethanol could increase food prices.
  • 59 percent of voters oppose moving the point of obligation to shift the program’s compliance burden, while only 20 percent support such a change.
  • 75 percent of voters are concerned about government requirements that could breach the blend wall.

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 625 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 40 million Americans.

Methodology

The study was conducted on March 23-27, 2017, by telephone by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute among 1000 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.

See original press release at API.

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