Policies supporting biodiesel production would be well-received if they were on the ballot in next week's elections, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the National Biodiesel Board and released Tuesday.
Three out of four voters support a tax incentive for biodiesel, the survey found, while 76% said they support a national renewable fuel standard.
The survey of nearly 1,200 registered U.S. voters was conducted by Moore Information Opinion Research between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2.
"These numbers reflect overwhelming public support for developing cleaner, alternative fuels so that we're not so dangerously dependent on petroleum," said Anne Steckel, NBB's vice president of federal affairs.
Steckel said the policies are popular because they are effective in reducing dependence on foreign oil, reducing pollution and creating jobs.
The biodiesel industry had a record U.S. market last year of nearly 1.8 billion gallons. According to the U.S. EPA, biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57% to 86% compared with petroleum diesel, NBB said.
The EPA late last year proposed holding biodiesel production under the Renewable Fuel Standard at 1.28 billion gallons, below actual 2013 production. NBB says the proposal has caused companies to pull back production and lay off employees. EPA's un-finalized RFS is also to blame for instability in the industry, NBB says.
The $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive also expired at the end of 2013, creating more uncertainty.
"This is one of those issues that illustrates why voters are so fed up with Washington," Steckel said. "You have policies with overwhelming support from the public and strong bipartisan support in Congress, yet Washington seems paralyzed with inaction."
Among other findings in the survey, 85% of respondents said a candidate's position on energy issues was somewhat important or very important in their voting decision, and 78% said a candidate's position on alternative fuels was very important or somewhat important.
Read the full NBB voter survey.