Voters concerned about RFS ethanol mandates, survey for API finds

A survey of registered US voters found 77% of the respondents concerned that raising the allowable ethanol limit in gasoline beyond 10% could increase the retail price by up to 26¢/gal, reduce supplies, and create shortages, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Harris Poll conducted the telephone survey of 1,013 voters March 22-29 for API. The same percentage said they were concerned that a higher ethanol blend would not cover vehicle damage if the vehicle was not specifically designed for it.

“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 during an Apr. 6 conference call as the poll’s results were released.

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

The 2005 Energy Policy Act established a federal Renewable Fuel Standard, and the 2007 Energy Independent and Security Act expanded those mandates. Macchiarola said that new energy realities have made the RFS obsolete.

He indicated that API would use the survey and its results to remind candidates, members of Congress, and the Obama administration “that voters are very concerned about the costs and consequences of this unworkable and unnecessary mandate.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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