On a press conference call yesterday, the National Farmers Union (NFU), released a poll that showed popularity and support within rural congressional districts for political candidates that support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). NFU President Roger Johnson said that the poll demonstrates the importance of the Obama Administration getting the RFS back on track as it sets the RFS volume obligations for 2014-2016, due out by the end of this month.
Johnson noted that support for the RFS outweighed opposition in five out of the six districts surveyed by the poll. “Rural America seems to have taken note of the measurable gains in climate change resiliency, energy independence and the rejuvenation of rural economies across the country that are directly attributable to the RFS.”
When asked if this meant Democrats were also supportive of the RFS, Andrew Drechsler, president of HaystaqDNA a “democratic-centric” firm who conducted the poll, responded that the poll findings are very important for moderates, who the poll found support the RFS. “One thing that could make a difference on the position of the leadership is this issue, and for the Democrats, that’s the president,” he said during the press call.
Johnson added, “Self-identified moderates constituted 39 percent of the electorate surveyed in the poll, and by a two-to-one margin, these voters said that support for the RFS will make them more likely to vote for a congressional candidate versus voters who say it will make them less likely to support that candidate.” In other words, RFS support among voters is bi-partisan.
This poll, along with several other RFS polls released over the past few weeks all demonstrate a strong support for the RFS – even among city-dwelling voters.
The take-away? Johnson summed it up: “The RFS is a rare issue that cuts across party lines and deals directly with rural economics. This poll demonstrates the importance of the RFS to rural voters. The President, both because it is the right public policy and it is the right political move in rural America, needs to show his support for a strong RFS. And that begins by issuing volume obligations that comply with the RFS statute.”
Listen to the press conference audio here: NFU RFS Poll Press Conference