RFS backers launch last-minute appeal to Obama

Source: Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, November 20, 2015

The Fuels America campaign launched a print ad campaign that will encourage President Obama to vouch support for the renewable fuel standard as the deadline looms for U.S. EPA to finalize a critical rule for the biofuels industry.

The coalition placed a full-page ad in The New York Times yesterday, asking the president to “get America’s most successful climate policy back on track” as U.S. climate negotiators prepare to contribute to a pivotal carbon reduction agreement at the U.N. climate conference in Paris next month. The six-figure ad buy also includes digital ads.

On a call with reporters this morning, proponents of the renewable fuel mandate expressed frustration over a perceived lack of movement from the White House to support the program, created during the George W. Bush administration. EPA’s proposed rule issued earlier this year scaled back year-on-year volume requirements in relation to amounts approved by Congress in the 2007 energy law.

“We are encouraging the president to take one more look before we get into Paris,” said Adam Monroe, president of the Americas for the biofuel enzyme maker Novozymes.

Fuels America launched a massive television ad buy Oct. 30 centered on the role biofuels play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, two days after a coalition of RFS opponents released TV ads that question the benefits of renewable fuels — corn ethanol, in particular — in cutting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The competing ads have been running back-to-back in several local TV markets this month.

The American Petroleum Institute, which is opposed to the renewable fuels policy, is set to release a poll on voters’ views on the RFS this afternoon.

EPA has until Nov. 30 to issue a final rule for the required biofuel production amounts under the RFS for 2014, 2015 and 2016, as well as a 2017 mandate for biodiesel.