A new poll has reignited the debate over ethanol mandates.
According to a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of American Petroleum Institute (API), 77 percent of registered voters - Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – are concerned about adding more ethanol into the fuel mix. "They're concerned from a consumer standpoint, from their pocketbooks," explains API downstream group director Frank Macchiarola.
Unless specified, most gas stations in the United States sell fuel containing a percentage of ethanol.
"They're concerned that additional ethanol in the fuel mix can have a negative effect on the automobile warranty," Macchiarola continues, "and they're also concerned that increased ethanol in the fuel mix will raise the ... price of corn and the price of food."
But Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of Renewable Fuels Association, disagrees with the findings. "What API did is referred to as a push poll," he says. "They give the person taking the poll lots of negative misinformation and then ask them the question – and these things were so biased."
While some consumers and industry groups beg to differ, Dinneen says there are no concerns about warranties and food price increases. He adds that monthly polling from RFA finds a strong majority supports ethanol and the related Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
"We were really astounded that even the API would try to mislead people in that fashion," says Dinneen.
But Macchiarola tells OneNewsNow they're not misleading anyone.
"I think it's very easy to break down the argument and say, On the one side you have Big Oil and on the other side you have Big Corn – but that really simplifies the debate," says Macchiarola. "From our perspective, we start with the facts, we start with data and we lay that out there to the American public, and the American public responds."