Survey Says Americans Support Development of Biofuels

Eighty-two percent of Americans are in favor of government support for the development of biofuels says a new survey released last week by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). "That is the most remarkable part of the survey," says Brent Erickson, executive vice president for BIO's industrial and environmental engineering section, "it shows that Americans understand how important it is for us to diversify our energy sources."

The survey, which was administered by Harris Interactive was conducted by telephone in the United States between October 5 and October 8, 2006 and included 1,1031 adults with a sampling error of +/- 3 points.

Biofuels consist of biodiesel and ethanol. In 2005 the Natural Resources Defense Council issued a report stating that a total government investment of $1.1 billion from 2006 to 2012 to develop biofuel technology to the point where the rest of it could be done in commercially competitive facilities. All of this could make America less dependent on foreign oil, an issue that 81% of survey respondents said was important. And, at the moment 80% of survey respondents feel that federal and state governments are not doing enough to promote the production of biofuels.

As election day draws near this issue may be more important than ever to candidates since 84% of respondents would be very likely to somewhat likely to support federal and state candidates who are in favor of providing incentives to promote increased production and availability of biofuels.

"Government support in the form of tax credits, grants and other incentives for the development of this technology is absolutely critical," says Erickson, "Without that private-public partnership, this is a technology that may never get off the ground."