An ugly campaign to support ethanol

A pro-American groups Americans United for Change and called the press on april 30 to reveal IRS documents that would prove that Saudi oil money is actually the one paying smear ads that the API – American Petroleum Institute is waging against ethanol and the RFS.

According to Brad Woodhouse, President from Americans United for Change: “API’s agenda is very simple and very greedy: they want EPA to cut the amount of renewable fuel in gasoline while raising the amount of crude oil. This is about market share, plain and simple.”


He added “Today, we are releasing tax documents which reveal that – going back to at least 2008 – Saudi Aramco has been a major funder of the API, and actually held a seat on the Board of Directors.”

Jon Soltz, and Iraq War veteran and Chairman of said: “There’s nothing “American” about the way the “American” Petroleum Institute is doing business. They’re fighting to block competition from U.S. businesses, and they’re doing it with Saudi Aramco’s trillions in oil dollars. Saudi Arabia is our ally and our strategic partner. We mean no disrespect. But this is our country, and Americans should be the ones to decide our energy future.”


This last statement however does not seem to be reflected by a TV ad being promoted by Americans United for Change. The ad give the idea that it is the entire Saudi Arabia (“The Kindgdom”) which is against the USA and do it through oil dominance. The ad (picture below), called “The Kingdom”, will air on may 4 during the TV shows “Meet the Press”, “Face the Nation”, “This Week”, and “Fox News Sunday”. A preview can be seen here

Those organizations seem to forget that most of the oil imported by the US actually comes from Mexico and Canada. So, the campaign throws a general sense that ethanol producers are aggressive bumpkins who think know how the world works, but at the end just reach childlish conclusions. Next time we may see ads from those organizations claiming that Europe, Brazil, or any other country beneath the sun which dares to compete with the US in the energy field is responsible for its problems.

The same organizations could learn a lesson or two from a similar campaign done in Brazil by UNICA. The TV ad, called “Ethanol:  the supercomplete fuel”, ran in 2013 and used famous soap-opera stars to publicly defend ethanol as a complete fuel which would protect the environment, the engine, and your wallet. No country, culture, or whatever was mentioned in the ad, which can be seen here.

All and all, Americans United for Change and did a disservice to ethanol and biofuels in general and even more to their own people. A pity, truly.