New Polling Data Shows RFS, Renewable Fuels to be Key Issue in 2016 Iowa General Election

Press Contact: T.J. Page


In Key Swing State, 57% of Voters Less Likely to Support RFS Opponent

JOHNSTON, IOWA – During a Congressional staff briefing held in Washington D.C., the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) today released results of a new poll showing that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and renewable fuels will be key issues for Iowans in the 2016 general election.

The poll, conducted by The Tarrance Group, shows “Iowa voters have an exceptionally favorable view of ethanol, with 72 percent favorable and only 11 percent unfavorable,” stated Tarrance Group President and CEO Ed Goeas. “This is virtually a universal opinion across geography and voter groups. Not a single subgroup of the electorate fails to hold a majority favorable opinion.”

Additionally, the poll results find that 57 percent of Iowa voters are less likely to support a candidate for public office who opposes an increase in ethanol use through the RFS. Similarly, 56 percent of voters oppose EPA’s recent proposal to reduce the RFS. Goeas noted, “Amazingly, not a single subgroup of the electorate favors this action.” He added, “[O]ur findings indicate that once voters hear the facts, the coalition against this is likely to grow.”

Congressional Briefing Panelists Discuss Poll Impacts on 2016 General Election

During a broader discussion on renewable fuels and Iowa, the Congressional staff briefing panelists noted how these findings may impact the 2016 general election and Iowa caucuses.

“Iowans recognize the important role that agriculture plays in the overall health of their state,” stated Editor-in-Chief Craig Robinson. “Likewise, Iowans understand that the Renewable Fuel Standard is an important tool, not only to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil but to also strengthen and protect Iowa’s economy.”

“One only needs to look at the last election cycle in Iowa to know that the RFS and ethanol are important to Iowa voters,” stated America’s Renewable Future Senior Advisor Derek Eadon. “A look at this election reveals top-tier candidates on both sides of the aisle articulating the importance of biofuels not only for rural economies, but as a key component of a national energy policy. That is a clear sign that this will be a defining issue for the caucuses, but also for the general election.”

“The results from this poll reconfirm what we’ve already known to be true: renewable fuels and the RFS will play a vital role in the Iowa caucuses and 2016 general election,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “At this time of year, it’s tempting to think only of the Iowa caucuses, but Iowa is also one of only ten swing states.  Past elections have shown that renewable fuels can and will play a major role. It’s a fact candidates should keep in mind as they discuss energy policy.”

The Tarrance Group conducted a telephone survey of 500 voters in Iowa. The margin of error for a random sample of this type is +/- 4.5 percent in 95 out of 100 cases. Responses to the survey were gathered June 8 to 10, 2015.

To view the poll memo, please click here.

To view the poll questionnaire, please click here.

Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing more than 3.8 billion gallons annually, including 22 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity and one cellulosic ethanol facility currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.


For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association homepage at: