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Industry survey reports U.S. citizens support more incentives for biofuels

Four in five U.S. adults agree that national and state governments are not doing enough to promote production of biofuels — fuels made from agricultural crops or plant matter — according to a survey released by the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, also found that 82 percent of adults say national and state governments should provide financial incentives to biofuels producers to encourage the production and availability of biofuels. More than two out of three adults would use American-made biofuels even if these fuels cost slightly more than conventional gas.

Eighty-four percent of respondents would be at least somewhat likely to support federal and state political candidates who favor providing incentives to promote increased production and availability of biofuels throughout the United States.

“Developing domestic biofuels and ending our over-reliance on foreign oil appear to be top concerns among Americans in this election year,” said Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO. “A strong majority of Americans clearly support federal and state financial incentives to promote development of biofuels such as ethanol that can help end our addiction to oil. And they are ready to support political candidates who favor such incentives.”

The survey asked respondents how strongly they agreed or disagreed with statements about biofuels. Half of U.S. adults strongly agreed and a third somewhat agreed that federal and state governments are not doing enough to promote the production of biofuels.

When asked if the production and availability of biofuel should be encouraged by national and state governments providing financial incentives to biofuel producers, four out of five respondents said yes.

“We clearly see support for continuing and expanding existing tax credits and other biofuels production incentives,” Greenwoods said. “With industrial biotechnology processes now available that transform crop residues such as corn stover, wheat straw and rice straw into ethanol, America could soon meet an even larger portion of its transportation fuel needs with biofuels.”

More than half of U.S. adults were able to correctly define biofuels as fuel made from agricultural crops or plant matter.

Eight of 10 respondents rated making America less dependent on foreign oil as very important or important. Seven of 10 rated decreasing gas prices very important or important. And nearly seven in 10 rated creating jobs in rural areas as very important or important.

The telephone survey was taken between Oct. 5 and Oct. 8, among 1,031 adults. BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and 31 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

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