National voter poll shows strong support for RFS, biodiesel use

By The National Biodiesel Board | October 09, 2019

The National Biodiesel Board released results Oct. 9 of an annual national poll of registered voters designed to measure awareness of and attitudes toward biodiesel and federal policies that support the industry. The results show a candidate’s support for policies to promote clean energy, including biodiesel and renewable diesel use, can influence votes.

“Voters are consistent year-to-year in saying they support political candidates who champion federal policies to encourage development and use of cleaner fuels such as biodiesel,” said Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the NBB. “Results of our poll indicate that environmental concerns are growing in importance for voters. Biodiesel can deliver environmental benefits to address those concerns today.”

Among the respondents, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) had previously heard some information about biodiesel. More than half (57 percent) of all respondents agreed that federal policy should encourage use of biodiesel and renewable diesel. When asked if federal policy should support petroleum, 45 percent said “no,” while only 34 percent said “yes.”

When asked about issues that affect their votes, a strong majority of the polled registered voters (81 percent) indicated that a candidate’s position on renewable fuels is important. Overall, 86 percent of respondents indicated that a candidate’s position on clean energy is important or very important to their voting preferences. Further, 85 percent of respondents agreed that it is important that President Donald Trump keep his promises on the RFS.

“President Trump recently renewed his commitment to expand use of biofuels, promising to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “It’s clearly important to voters that the president succeed on that commitment and get American workers in the biodiesel industry back on the job.”

When informed that biodiesel is America’s first and most widely available advanced biofuel and has demonstrated environmental benefits, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents supported increased use. High percentages of respondents agreed that the government should “stand with American workers, manufacturers, rural economies and businesses” to support a clean fuels industry (83 percent) and “follow the law to implement an existing mandate that creates jobs and economic development across the country” (82 percent).

Nearly four of every five respondents expressed support for existing federal programs that encourage increased production and use of advanced biofuels. Seventy-eight percent of respondents support the federal tax incentive for biodiesel, and 79 percent support the Renewable Fuel Standard. Additionally, 79 percent of respondents would encourage local communities and governments to promote use of biodiesel.

Conducted Sept. 18-19, 2019, the poll gathered responses from 1,064 registered voters across the country. The poll was conducted by Moore Information Group on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board. The results of the poll were consistent with prior polling in September 2017 and September 2018.

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. It is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors, as well as the U.S. renewable diesel industry.


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