Here's an interesting way to phrase things. The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) is trying to reframe America's current high pump costs with this headline: "Gas Prices Force Americans to Push for Ethanol Fuel." O rly?
See, EPIC commissioned a survey (conducted by Luth Research's SurveySavvy online research at the end of April, with just over 1,000 respondents) that found that American motorists will be rethinking their driving habits. No one needed a survey to figure that out, but EPIC also asked about the role fossil fuels play in the mix. I found the announcement strangely worded (read it for yourself after the break), but it seems like EPIC found that Americans don't want to pay for fossil fuels if they cost more than $5-6 a gallon. Ergo, said Toni Nuernberg, executive director of EPIC in that statement, "Motorists are frustrated and angry about high gas prices. Everyone is feeling the pinch at the pump, which really underscores our need for biofuels." It really underscores our need for alternatives, that's for sure, but not just biofuels.

Press Release:

Gas Prices Force Americans to Push for Ethanol Fuel

Survey Finds Motorists Want Less Costly Fuel Alternatives

OMAHA, Neb., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent national survey commissioned by Ethanol Promotion and Information Council (EPIC) (http://www.drivingethanol.org/) shows the skyrocketing cost of gasoline is forcing American motorists to rethink their driving habits and choices at the pump. The cost of summer driving, with oil prices nearing $140 a barrel, has become an increasing financial burden for many American consumers.

The EPIC survey (http://www.drivingethanol.org/news_events/consumer_awareness.aspx) found 47 percent of those polled stated that a fuel price below $5 a gallon should be the point where fossil fuels are no longer our primary fuel sources. An additional 27 percent of those polled reported that the critical price point lies between $5 and $5.99. America is getting close to the break-point as Sunday, the national average of a gallon of gasoline rose to $4.005, 90 cents higher than a year ago, according to AAA.

"Motorists are frustrated and angry about high gas prices. Everyone is feeling the pinch at the pump, which really underscores our need for biofuels," said Toni Nuernberg, executive director of EPIC (http://www.drivingethanol.org/). "As gas prices continue to skyrocket, we must continue the push for the only current transportation energy option we have today-biofuels."

Even in the face of heavy criticism from anti-ethanol groups and misplaced blame for rising food prices, the ethanol fuel industry continues to help keep fuel prices below the even-more exorbitant prices consumers would pay without the availability of ethanol fuel.

According to data from Iowa State University, blending gasoline with ethanol has kept fuel prices $0.29 - 0.40 lower per gallon than they would have been otherwise. In the Midwest, the savings are the greatest, with fuel prices suppressed by as much as $0.39 per gallon due to ethanol fuel blending.

The survey found that 42 percent of those polled said they were coping with rising gas prices by driving less, but 15 percent reported there was nothing they could do to cut back on the increasing expense of driving.

"Motorists across the country are reaching their breaking point," said Nuernberg. "Rising fuel costs are impacting the economy across the board. Cost-effective renewable alternatives must be a part of our country's long-term energy plan."

Survey Methodology:

Online survey of a total 1,004 completed surveys from Luth Research's SurveySavvy online research panel. Survey fielding dates were April 24, 2008 through April 30, 2008. To learn more about the research, visit http://www.drivingethanol.org/news_events/consumer_awareness.aspx

About EPIC:

The Ethanol Promotion and Information Council is an alliance of ethanol producers and industry leaders who have come together to spread the word about the benefits of ethanol through information and promotional programs. EPIC is a nonprofit organization and is overseen by an 11 member board of directors. Visit http://www.drivingethanol.org/ for more information about EPIC.

[Source: Ethanol Promotion and Information Council]

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