Pro-RFS, anti-RFS ads planned for release

By Erin Voegele | April 30, 2014

The fight over the future of the renewable fuels standard (RFS) is continuing. Next week, both pro-RFS and anti-RFS ads are scheduled to run in Washington, D.C. The U.S. EPA is expected to release its final rule for the program in June.

Americans United for Change and held a press call on April 30 to announce their new ad in support of the RFS, titled “The Kingdom.” The television advertisement, set to run on four networks on Sunday, draws attention to the American Petroleum Institute’s ties to Saudi Arabian oil interests.

During the call, Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, called the API’s anti-RFS agenda simple. “They want the EPA to cut the amount of renewable fuel in gasoline while raising the amount of crude oil,” he said. This is about market share, plain and simple. For every gallon of renewable fuels that is blended into gasoline, that’s one less gallon of gasoline the oil industry can sell. Since the United States already consumes far more oil than we can produce, all of that additional oil will have to be imported. Oil demand goes up, which means prices go up, and consumers send more of their paychecks overseas.”

Woodhouse noted that the API has a history of sitting representatives of Saudi Aramco-affiliated companies on its board of directors. Saudi Aramco is the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, reportedly worth approximately $7 trillion. He called the relationship between the API and Saudi Amarco “deeply troubling.”

“Here you have a lobbyist for the Saudi king helping call the shots at the American Petroleum Institute,” Woodhouse said. “They are funneling Saudi oil money into a campaign to force all of us to buy more Saudi oil and passing it off as American as apple pie.”

The API plans to run its own advertising campaign in Washington, D.C., next week that urges the White House to follow through with the proposed reductions in RFS volumes.

During a media call hosted by API on April 30, API Downstream Director Bob Greco announced that his organization issued a letter to the EPA this week. That letter asks the agency to limit the RFS mandate to no more than 9.7 percent of the gasoline demand predicted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in October.

During his speech, Greco noted that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has recently indicated the EPA plans to use updated data in setting the final RFS rule, which would result in a different volume requirement than contained in the proposed rule. Greco said the API believes the EPA shouldn’t try to micro-manage ethanol mandates based on slight changes in gasoline demand forecast.