TV 'ad blitz' planned to argue against cutting RFS
By Daniel Enoch
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, March 20, 2014 - The liberal group Americans United for Change (AUC) is financing an “ad blitz” in the Washington media market on the major TV talk shows this Sunday to argue its case against reducing the mandated requirements for ethanol and other biofuel use in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The “anti-Big Oil, pro-homegrown jobs” ad will be aired on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, and Fox News Sunday in the DC area at a cost “approaching six figures,” Jeremy Funk, the group's communications director, said in an e-mail. The ad is aimed at “opinion elites and the ultimate decision-makers” behind the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal for the RFS, he said.
The ad, titled “Bottom Line,” underscores “the consequences for rural jobs and all American consumers if they ultimately give Big Oil what they want: crippling their cheaper, cleaner renewable fuels competition,” AUC said in a separate news release.
The EPA is currently reviewing the tens of thousands of comments it received from stakeholders and the public after announcing its proposed rule. The agency is expected to publish its final rule in June.
Under the plan, total renewable fuel to be blended with gasoline this year would be capped at 15.21 billion gallons, including just over 13 billion gallons from corn-based ethanol. The original goal set in 2006 for this year was for an estimated 18.15 billion gallons in renewables for the fuel supply, with 14.4 billion gallons of ethanol.
The proposal also would set the cellulosic biofuel standard at 17 million gallons, “significantly below” the Clean Air Act's goal of 1.75 billion gallons. The EPA said its projection reflects its current estimate of what will actually be produced in 2014.
“It's time to draw the line,” said Caren Benjamin, AUC's executive director, “not just because gutting the RFS is another giveaway to ‘Big Oil,' but because it'd be a huge takeaway from our rural economies, our national security, environment, and innovation towards cleaner renewable fuels of tomorrow.”
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