API’s Anti RFS Ad Campaign – Trick, or Treat?

July 24, 2013 |

rosenthalby Mary Rosenthal
Executive Director, Algae Biomass Organization

Halloween is not for another 3 months, but the costumes and scare tactics are already out in the form of a new ad campaign from the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The goal of the ad campaign? To try to generate grassroots demand among the American public to call for the repeal of the RFS.  Now, if you’re like me, you know an awful lot about biofuels policies and regulations. But ask your neighbor what the RFS stands for and I’ll bet you a tank of gas that he or she won’t know what you’re talking about.

So, I’m not too worried about API’s attempt to manufacture outrage among American consumers about biofuel. In fact, what does enrage consumers is the high price of gas. Thanks to the RFS and our friends in the Ethanol Industry, the price of gas has been reduced by about $1.09 per gallon, or $1,200 per household annually.  Without the RFS, we’d easily be above $5.00 per gallon consistently.

A funny thing happens when you give consumers choice – competition heats up and prices go down. Yet up until now, the only choice consumers have had is between Regular, Super and Premium. But thanks to the RFS, in the coming years consumers will have even more choices for sustainable fuels, made in America by American companies.

Consumers want choice and they want renewable fuels.

Earlier this year, renewable fuel retailer Propel Fuels released the results of a survey of customers who drove on algae-based fuel. In the survey, 92 percent of participants noted that they would be more likely to purchase algae-derived fuel for its environmental benefits; 70 percent indicated that they would purchase the fuel more frequently if it were derived from algae; and nearly 40 percent of customers indicated they would pay a premium for algae-derived fuel.

The API campaign reminds me of the now famous Chick-fil-A ads in which self-interested cows make bald-faced attempts to get people to eat less beef by painting “Eat Mor Chikin” all over the place.  We all know that it’s really just an ad for chicken by a chicken company. The same holds true for the API ads – they’re really ads for oil companies.

So, don’t believe for a minute that the API has your, or your neighbor’s, best interests in mind when it calls for the repeal of the RFS.  Take it for what it is – a self-interested, protectionist ploy designed to restrict choice, stifle innovation and further our dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Trick or treat? Trick. Definitely.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.