Poll Says Biofuels Top Long-Term Energy Solutions

Biofuels top the list as the most acceptable avenue to long-term energy security in the U.S. That’s the conclusion of a national survey commissioned by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC).

Respondents were asked what they would consider “acceptable” solutions to the current energy situation in the U.S. and 73 percent of them responded with the answer: domestically produced biofuels such as ethanol to replace oil.

Consumers are driving America’s energy independence plan with additional solutions:
• 62 percent citing conservation
• 58 percent citing increased domestic drilling
• 55 percent mandate manufacturing of environmentally friendly vehicles
• 24 percent of respondents cited drilling in environmentally friendly areas as an option
• Only 7 percent responded that importing more foreign oil was an acceptable solution to the current problems

EPIC’s national poll also reveals consumer support for biofuels such as ethanol keeps growing. Nearly 62 percent of respondents have a favorable view of ethanol.

In addition, support for flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) is also increasing. FFVs can run on pure gasoline or E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) or any mid-level blend such as E15, E20, E30, or E40. Earlier this year, General Motors, Ford Motor Co., and Chrysler committed that by 2012, half of their fleets will be flex-fuel vehicles. In May, Sen. John Thune introduced the Flex-Fuel for All Americans Act of 2008, which would create a temporary consumer tax credit for the purchase of a (FFV). In June, Sen. Sam Brownback supported policy to require 50 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2012 to be FFVs. Today, there are more than 7 million FFVs on the road, 1,800 E85 stations, and 100 blender pumps.

Also encouraging is consumer willingness to purchase a hybrid FFV. When asked about a competitively priced hybrid flex-fuel vehicle, 64 percent of respondents indicated they would consider purchasing one, indicating an even higher acceptance than a FFV without the hybrid feature (47 percent indicated they would consider a FFV). The largest reason cited for the purchase of a hybrid FFV was the environmental benefits of ethanol.

(Source: Ethanol Promotion and Information Council)

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