| NEW YORK, July 15
NEW YORK, July 15 The oil industry's top lobby
group in Washington has launched an aggressive new ad campaign
urging the repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a 2007 law
mandating the blending of gasoline with increasing volumes of
The American Petroleum Institute's print, TV, radio and
online ad campaign features a mechanic explaining all the
reasons why the oil group believes the mandate is "bad news":
higher food prices, lower gasoline mileage and potential for
engine damage not covered by car warranties.
The group launched the ads as part of an effort to convince
Congress to repeal the 2007 law as early as this year, Bob
Greco, API downstream group director, said on a conference call
with reporters. The debate over the RFS has pitted the oil lobby
against the ethanol lobby, two powerful groups in Washington.
Greco declined to say how much money the API is spending but
said the group is devoting "significant resources" to the ad
campaign. It is targeting the Washington market as well as
Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, Michigan, North Carolina, South
Dakota and West Virginia, a spokesperson said.
The API's ad campaign launch coincides with an all-time high
in prices for renewable energy credits known as RINs, which are
meant to ensure compliance with the 2007 Renewable Fuel
Standard. Ethanol RIN credits traded at a fresh high of $1.29
each, a broker said on Monday, up from around 5 cents at the end
of last year.
The oil industry has said the higher RIN prices could force
refiners to export more gasoline to avoid the costs associated
with the credits, which jumped in price because of concerns
Refiners, who have seen their market share eroded by the
introduction of ethanol into the gasoline pool, have also said
every 10-cent rise in RINs prices tacks on roughly 1 cent to
each gallon of gasoline purchased at the pump.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the ethanol
industry's lobbying arm, said in a statement the API's new ads
are "nothing more than an oil slick of misleading scare tactics"
meant to confuse consumers.
The RFA said gasoline with higher blends of ethanol, such as
the 15 percent ethanol "E15" gasoline, can save consumers money
at the pump and reduce U.S. dependence on imported foreign oil.
(Reporting By Cezary Podkul; editing by Jim Marshall)