Poll: Majority of Nebraskans want to develop ethanol industry

Source: By Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Friday, September 25, 2015

The majority of Nebraskans who responded to a Rural Nebraska Poll are in favor of developing alternative sources of energy, including ethanol and biodiesel.

About 2,000 rural Nebraska residents responded to the poll conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Agricultural Economics in partnership with the University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute.

The 20th annual Rural Nebraska Poll, mailed out this spring to about 6,200 randomly selected households in 86 counties, asked questions that included climate change and energy sources. Other questions in the 14-page questionnaire were related to well-being, community, community involvement and education.

The respondents’ average age was 51 and about 70 percent of them were married and lived within the city limits of a town. Slightly more than half of the towns and villages in which they live have populations of less than 5,000. Most of the respondents earned at least at least a high school diploma.

Nearly 60 percent of poll respondents agreed or strongly agreed that more should be done to develop ethanol or biodiesel energy in Nebraska. Forty six percent disagreed that renewable energy sources are too expensive for Nebraska. One-half of the respondents replied that there are sufficient oil and natural gas supplies to meet U.S. energy needs for the foreseeable future.

People who work in the agricultural industry and employees of the food service or personal care occupations are more likely than people with other jobs to agree that more should be done to develop the ethanol or biodiesel energy industry in Nebraska, according to the poll results. About two-thirds, or 67 percent, of this group agreed that more should be done to develop those industries.

Older people and men were more likely to disagree than younger people and women that more should be done to develop the ethanol and biodiesel industries.