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Release: Majority of Chicago Voters Support Chicago Clean Air Choice Ordinance

Widespread Support across Political, Geographic Lines for Renewable Fuel Option

CHICAGO, 7/25/14 – According to a new poll, 55 percent of Chicago voters support a proposal to give consumers the option to purchase E15 gas – a blend containing up to 15 percent renewable fuels –at nearly all of Chicago’s gas stations. Only 30 percent of voters oppose the proposal. The poll found voters support the proposal because making E15 available as an option will bring Chicago cleaner air and less expensive gasoline.

Conducted from June 14 to 17 by Benenson Strategy Group among 600 registered Chicago voters, the poll reveals that support for an E15 option at the pump is consistent across the city, with 54 to 56 percent of voters in favor in the North, Northwest, South, and Southwest areas of the city. The proposal also enjoys support across the ideological spectrum, with a majority of liberals, moderates and conservatives in favor.

The widespread popularity of E15 throughout the city can be attributed to voters’ stances on environmental and energy issues, according to the poll results. Sixty percent of Chicago voters say the U.S. should significantly increase its use of renewable energy sources.

On the South Side, nearly four out of every five voters think reducing air pollution should be a priority. This is unsurprising given statistics that show lung disease is much more likely to impact minority residents.

Recent research shows that moving to E15 would reduce Chicago’s cancer risk and smog pollution.

E15 represents one way to make Chicago’s air cleaner and reduce cancer rates. The renewable fuel in E15 is primarily ethanol, a cleaner-burning fuel additive made from feed corn, much of it grown in Illinois. Most of the gas sold in Chicago today is E10, a blend of gasoline consisting of up to 10 percent ethanol.

In addition to cleaner air, the poll’s respondents support reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Consumers choosing to fill their tanks with E15 would see more of their gas dollar going to Midwest farmers instead of Middle East oil interests. Chicago voters also support the lower gas prices that would result from using more renewable fuel and less petroleum, according to the poll.

The poll was sponsored by advocacy group Americans United for Change.

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Americans United for Change is a powerful movement bringing together independent voices for new policy priorities and real leadership – to focus our elected officials on the issues that really matter to the lives of everyday Americans and get America moving in the right direction again.