Las Vegas ad campaign coincides with Obama visit

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Biofuel advocates are running digital and print ads to coincide with President Obama’s visit to Las Vegas to address the National Clean Energy Summit.

The campaign, which includes a full-page ad today in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, accuses the Obama administration of mishandling the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program, which Congress passed into law in 2007 to encourage greater use of corn ethanol and advanced biofuels.

Earlier this year, U.S. EPA proposed to set targets under the program for 2014, 2015 and 2016 that fall short of the levels Congress anticipated when it wrote the law.

“Mr. President, we invested billions in the world’s cleanest motor fuels based on the RFS,” a digital ad in the new campaign reads. “But your proposal dismantles the program.”

Obama this evening is scheduled to address the eighth annual Clean Energy Summit organized by retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

The ad campaign is part of an aggressive push by Fuels America, a coalition of biofuel advocates, to persuade the Obama administration to set more robust renewable fuel mandates for refiners. Fuels America earlier this year gathered hundreds of thousands of comments in opposition to EPA’s proposal.

Fuels America did not give a cost figure for the new campaign.

According to a report today by biofuel trade group Biotechnology Industry Organization, biofuel use spurred by the RFS over the past 10 years has reduced the U.S. transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 589.33 million metric tons.

The Obama administration has defended the proposal, arguing that it would increase the amount of biofuels used in the country yet recognize market realities that bar more ethanol from being added to the fuel system in the short term. EPA is set to finalize the targets by Nov. 30.