Coalition launches six-figure ad blitz in 3 states

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Supporters of the renewable fuel standard today launched a six-figure ad campaign supporting three incumbent Democrats and one Republican in midterm election battles.

The radio and television ads funded by the Fuels America coalition thank Minnesota Sen. Al Franken (D) and Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) for their support of the RFS, through which U.S. EPA sets mandated levels of renewable fuels that refiners must blend in petroleum gasoline and diesel.

The ads tout domestic jobs tied to the biofuels industry and link renewable fuels to increased domestic energy security.

“Renewable fuels are cleaner and cost less, and keep our country safer,” says the Peters ad, for example. “But Big Oil is fighting back. The Koch brothers are spending millions attacking [the RFS].”

Fuels America, which is made up of biofuel producers, agricultural groups and national security organizations, did not give a specific amount for the campaign but called it a “significant six-figure buy overall” and said each state individually amounts to a “substantial campaign.”

The ad for Terry is a 30-second TV spot, while the rest are minutelong radio commercials.

Of the lawmakers the ads support, Franken holds a comfortable lead over his Republican challenger and businessman Mike McFadden.

Peters, who is running for the open seat of retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D) in Michigan, has retained a single-digit lead over opponent Terri Lynn Land in recent polls. Republicans view the seat as a top priority in their bid to flip the six seats needed to control the Senate, while Democrats view it as important to retaining their majority.

Terry, a vulnerable senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is seeking a ninth term in Congress and faces state Sen. Brad Ashford (D). While he has supported renewable fuels, Terry has also been a top congressional supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Peterson, one of the last of the moderate Blue Dog Democrats, is seeking a 13th term and faces his toughest challenge yet against state Sen. Torrey Westrom (R).