12.10.2013 | printed in the Fall 2013 issue of VITAL magazine
I hope you’ve seen this slogan in the television campaign run by Growth Energy featuring Mr. Slick and Dummy. These ads containing a ventriloquist and his wooden sidekick were designed to be lighthearted and to attract people’s attention while taking on a very serious subject matter.
For years, the oil industry has been using their political power and public relations prowess to protect their oligopoly by blocking out any competitor to the transportation fuels marketplace. It’s a classic bully-stomping-on-the-little-guy, David versus Goliath battle as Big Oil has spread mistruths and misinformation to the public and policy makers alike. You’ve seen this played out before. Remember the battle for telecommunications deregulation? And there have been many others in our nation’s history.
There’s no doubt about it, in this fight for market share, renewable fuels is the underdog. But we do have many advantages; ethanol is renewable, less expensive than gasoline, burns cleaner than fossil fuels, is safe for your car, and is 100% American – sending dollars to Midwestern farmers instead of Middle Eastern Sheiks. The fact is, more ethanol use will put billions of dollars back in the American economy, driving a true economic recovery for our nation.
The oil industry knows that ethanol is good for America. They also know that if ethanol advances to a 15% blend, refiners will become over-supplied; drastically cutting into the enormous profits they have been making off every consumer in America for the last several years.
The catch – they don’t want you, or any other consumer to know this.
So not only is Big Oil running smear campaigns on television and in newspapers, last year they spent over $140 million in lobbying alone. They are the buzz in the ear of every elected official on Capitol Hill – with hundreds of oil paid lobbyists working diligently to repeal or rewrite the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that ensures a marketplace for renewable fuels. The oil industry may have paid lobbyists, bloggers and public relations firms, but we have one thing they don’t have. You!
You have something they don’t have – you care about the future of our country. So I ask you to make your voice heard. Let your Congressman and Senators know that renewable fuels are good for America and that the RFS gives motorists a much-needed choice at the pump. And give to the POET Political Action Committee. In addition to caring, it’s critical that we support our congressmen and senators that do support renewable fuels.
Over the years, I’ve learned that people who support ethanol generally do so not only for economic gain, but because we know it’s the right thing for our country and our world. We know that our energy problems can’t continue to be solved by digging and drilling – raping the earth of its resources. We understand nature’s miracle through a seed, soil and sun and know that the power of agriculture can both feed and fuel our world. And, we know there is a much better way to fuel America.
Hey, oil industry . . . WE’RE NO DUMMIES!
Other Stories in this collection:
In Sight: You’re no dummy. Don’t let the oil industry treat you like one.
by Jeff Broin, Executive Chairman and Founder of POET