Fuels America launches new ad focused on the RFS

By Fuels America | November 19, 2015

On a press conference call Nov. 19, top executives from Fuels America announced the launch of a new ad campaign targeting President Obama and urging him to lead the world on climate by getting the renewable fuel standard (RFS) back on track as he heads into international climate talks. Speakers also discussed how the administration’s decision on the RFS will be critical in determining if the U.S. will lead by example on climate action.

The campaign, which is a six-figure buy consisting of a full page ad in the New York Times and digital ads in the Beltway, comes just days before President Obama will attend international climate talks and the Administration’s final rule on the RFS due Nov. 30. The full text of the print ad is pasted at the bottom of the release.

Speakers on the call included Adam Monroe, president of the Americas, Novozymes; Roger Johnson, president, National Farmers Union; Delayne Johnson, CEO, Quad County Corn Processors; and Chris Standlee, executive vice president, Global Affairs, Abengoa Bioenergy. You can listen to a recording of the call here.

“If the President doesn’t reverse course on the disastrous proposal, he will effectively be letting the oil industry and climate deniers in Congress dictate our climate policy,” Johnson said. “It will upend America’s most successful policy cutting greenhouse gas emissions and combatting climate change, and stifle investment in advanced biofuels in America.”

The threat to advanced and cellulosic biofuels that the proposed RFS poses is significant—already, $13.7 billion in investment in advanced biofuels has been frozen according to a report by BIO. And while several new cellulosic ethanol facilities have come online in the past year, the administration’s proposal stifles investment and threatens the progress of the past decade under the RFS.

Instead of creating space for investment in cellulosic ethanol and advanced biofuels, which have the lowest carbon footprint in the world, the proposal lets the oil industry get away with using its market position to cut off market access for competitors.

“This administration’s proposal inserts a loophole into the RFS—our country’s most aggressive climate policy in force today—and allows oil companies to continue ignoring their obligations under the law,” Standlee explained. “Our industry has fought and won this battle before—this waiver was sought for years by the oil industry and would allow them to control the RFS and restrict the deployment of the lowest carbon fuels in the world.”

But now, the proposed RFS empowers the oil industry to unilaterally block competition from homegrown renewable fuel, and hands oil companies control over our most effective policy combatting climate change—drastically undercutting the President’s Clean Power Plan and commitments on climate.

If the proposed rule is finalized as is, it will effectively stop the evolution of the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry in the United States and push the development of these advanced technologies and fuels overseas.

“We have grown first generation ethanol capacity and developed technology to add even lower carbon cellulosic ethanol that we are now deploying,” Johnson added. “We have stepped up to produce a first generation renewable fuel that has displaced nearly 2 billion barrels of oil in a decade. The EPA, DOE, and other academic institutions say that biofuels like ethanol significantly cut carbon emissions—corn ethanol reduces GHGs by 34 percent compared to regular gasoline and cellulosic ethanol reduces GHGs by up to 108 percent.”

“But we are not stopping there. We are not just deploying a low carbon fuel anymore, we are now commercializing the lowest carbon fuel in the world.”

The president has a choice to make. He can choose investment and innovation in American-made clean, renewable fuel or side with oil companies and climate change deniers to stifle the growth under the RFS and drastically increase carbon emissions.