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Poll: Nearly Three Out of Four Americans Want Increased Renewable Fuel Use, Production

A US poll released by the organization Renewable Fuels Now—a coalition of associations and companies, including the National Corn Growers Association—shows that 74% of Americans believe the country should increase its use of domestically produced renewable fuels like ethanol.

In addition, 87% of Americans maintain the federal government should actively support the development of a renewable fuels industry in this country, and 77% think Congress should encourage oil refiners to blend more ethanol into their gasoline products.

Additional findings include:

  • Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Americans want the government to provide incentives to encourage refiners to reduce their use of oil and increase use of renewables.

  • More than three-quarters (78%) maintain that increasing domestic ethanol production will help create new jobs and improve the economy in rural America.

  • Fifty-eight percent (58%) believe more use of domestically produced ethanol will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil

  • Three-quarters (75%) of Americans view ethanol as somewhat important in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with 41% viewing ethanol as extremely important in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The poll found that 84% of Americans believe something other than ethanol is at the root cause of rising food prices. Specifically, higher oil prices (46%), increased global demand (15%), and adverse weather conditions like drought (14%) were deemed to have a greater impact on food prices than ethanol production (7%).

The poll was conducted October 23-25 by the Mellman Group and commissioned by the RFA. The poll surveyed 1,000 adults with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.



How about a poll done for renewable energy instead of renewable fuels? This poll is so biased. The auto industry is moving toward electrification. Let's begin augmenting our power grid with solar cells. Photovoltaics produce electricity from the sun. The solar cells are warrantied for 25 years and are expected to last 40-50 years. Nothing moves to wear out unlike wind farms, this means low/no maintenance. Check out what Germany is doing, not planning but doing now.

Harvey D

This confirms that 75% want to keep their large inefficient ICE and their addiction to gas-fuel-ethanol guzzlers.

Only (25%) may buy more efficient vehicles such as hybrids and PHEVs.

We have much more to do to change our acquired attitude.

Many of us need more attitude changing help such as $6+/gallon fuel.

A progressive carbon tax may be required to get there.


Polls like this are pretty meaningless. What they say is the public is scared. They are now getting the vague idea that their massive gas-guzzling party may be soon coming to an end. So they want the government, the big "them," to do whatever is necessary to extend the festivities.

But they are so clueless about energy and environment issues that they'll sign onto anything, including environmentally devastating corn and sugar based ethanol. They are so far removed from issues of scarcity and sustainability that they'll happily endorse the squandering of the last of the remaining fresh water in depleted aquifers on this futile project.

Until and unless the issue is framed in terms of real sustainability, people aren't being given a fair choice. While it's encouraging that they are noticing the problem, it looks like the special interests in agriculture are stepping up to take over from OPEC as the pied pipers of supposedly cheap and easy fuel.

Well, first generation ethanol won't put a dent in our liquid fuel problem. Let's hope people realize this before we drain the rest of the water we need to grow our food crops.

Close the loops. Cellulose, algae, and carbon taxes NOW!


Hi Blacksun

Your are right, this pool results is pretty scary, peoples don't realize the problem and nively believe that corn ethanol will keep them driving their SUVs and maintain their wasteful habits. This very responsible, and I am afraid that when the gaz price will hit the 5$ (soon) peoples will get crazy. What people don't realize is that because corn ethanol has an energy balance of 0 the price of ethanlol will follow the price of gaz. Pocess of corn ethanol requires huge amount of naturl gaz which price is tighten to oil.

The strange things is despite all the counter pulbilicity made by Scientific American, National Geographic and the media in general, poeple still believe in this corn ethanol joke. It willl collapse by itself


Nice to see that there is some change in consciousness. Now that there is a high degree of acceptance for renewables, it's time to press the second generation of biofuels ALONG with CAFE and use mitigation.

Of course two years ahead when the first production PHEVs arrive people will leave corn behind in favor of more fast charge energy resources and home plug-in outlets.


I'm with "gr" what we need is a combination of stricter CAFE standards and increased growth in the biofuels industry. It is critical that science and the government work hand in hand to ensure real poisitive change. The problem unfortunately will continue if people are not willing to curb their consumption but at least restrictions will be instituted from on high and hopefully awareness will continue to grow. 3 out of 4 isn't bad, and regardless of the motivation (fear or not) that 75% is out there and looking for change. The coalition that I'm working with has set up a petition so that the public can reach out to its representatives and let them know that what they want is stricted CAFE standards and not a break for the auto industry. It is available here: Please check it out if you have the chance.

Harvey D


Very well said.


You are on the right track. Five to eight $/gal may be required to pass a strong enough readable message to the gas guzzler hard core.

gr & dani;

Are you sure that 75% want to get rid of their gas guzzlers? I read that those 75% want to keep on driving their current inefficient ICE with subsidied agrofuels.


Push poll, perhaps?

I visited the linked website, and while I found a press release announcing this poll result, I did not find, for example, the text of the questions asked, the sample size, or any other notes regarding methods used.


Just shows how the general public isn't aware of any downsides associated with agrifuels.

Followed by the usual second wave of those saying
"Well it's environmentally devestating right now. But you HAVE TO support it, because we might make it better sometime in the future, maybe."

i.e. The same argument given by those trying to push Coal-to-Liquid on us.


The corn ethanol won't distract the politician for very long. The process of ethanol requires huge amount of natural gaz, and apparently very few peoples realize that america is running out of natural gaz, the production has already peaked in the end 90s, which most experts failed to anticipate.

You said gaz from coal ? it happnes that a very recent report of AWG bring the fact that the US reserve of coal might well over evaluated. Most of the coal we have can not be economicaly extracted...

But who cares, after all humanity and populations have always lived as if there were no tomorrow, civilizations flourished and then declined, why should it be different today ??

One thing is for certain, the decline has always been abrupt and happenend suddently when nobody was waiting it, always at the peak, rarely after a long plateau.



Someone wasn't paying attention during his classics course. Read up on Diocletian and the later Roman empire generally. Ammianus Marcellinus is a good place to start.

My point: Declines are often slow, foreseen, semi-reversible, patchy, and historically messy. "The decline has always been abrupt" is a sweeping -- and false -- statement that butts up against any number of historical counterexamples.



You are right the decline of the roman empire as well as the maya one are quite slow and not linear at all. I was a bit too dramatic in my attempt to shake up the consciousness around.

When you think about it, the best thing that can happen on the short term is a crude price climbing at 150$ and a gaz price at 6-7$ then it would force the system to change its wastful habits then avoid the collapse that would result from "a business as usual" then a peak oil in 2030 with a decline of production of 5% to 7% a year that would be impossible to handle.


Hey Harvey,
No way do I think that 75% wants to give up its gas guzzlers. I just think that maybe they are looking to a future where they would guzzle less gas. It is possible to have a big car and have it be more fuel efficient. New technologies such as lighter stronger building materials will allow for lighter more fuel efficient cars without necessarily sacrificing too much size (or the all-important style). I think what this number is telling us is that the average citizen has begun to look forward.


If 75% wants a "greener" vehicle, why we still see so many V8s around or worse some V12?

Do all these people really need a truck or an SUV?
How many times a year these morons go out on dirt roads?
How many of them need a large SUT to haul Home Depot materials?
How many of them really think that the bigger the car [and taller ;o)] the safer it is?

Can Americans just wake up and see that if it wasn't for those marketing bastards at Ford & GM and their megaSUVs production in the '90, very few people actually drove one of those absurd and ridicolous junk buckets before then?

If you are a contractor and you need am SUT for work fine...get a diesel one...but little miss-thing from Beverly Hills does really need to drive a massive Escalade to go to the mall or to do her nails three blocks away?

We need to walk more...we need to get away from suburbia! Who made suburbia a reality? The big 3 in Detroit, and GoodYear and the oil companies!

Although in Europe there are millions of cars like here in the USA, a lot of people use public transportation or they simply walk more because they are paying 6 euro a gallon, actually 1.5 euro a liter, and they are not as wasteful as we are here in the US of A!

Produ to be an American, but NOT proud to be an American Motorist!


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