Pro-renewable fuels groups will run a television ad on Washington Sunday shows this week criticizing the American Petroleum Institute’s ties to Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco.Americans United for Change andVoteVets.org are sponsoring a commercial Sunday as part of their effort to oppose EPA’s proposed cut in volume mandates in the 2014 renewable fuels. The near-six-figure ad will air May 4 during Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week and Fox News Sunday.Saudi Arabia is 7,000 miles away, but “they’ve got some good friends here at home — the American Petroleum Institute,” the ad begins. It implores viewers who see API’s ads against the RFS to “remember who’s paying for them, and what they want — to keep you addicted to their oil.”
The groups joined in releasing information from API’s IRS disclosures, and subsidiaries of Saudi Aramco listed on API’s membership list. IRS forms also showed that Saudi Refining CEO Tofiq Al-Gabsani, who is also a registered agent for the kingdom, was on API’s board of directors in 2010 and 2011. Currently Nabeel Amudi, CEO of Aramco Services, another Saudi Aramco subsidiary, is on the board at API, the groups said.
“This is deeply troubling,” AUFC President Brad Woodhouse said. “The American people deserve to know who is funding ads” aimed at bringing down the RFS and “lengthening this country’s addiction to foreign oil,” he said.
Numerous companies that support the U.S. biofuels industry are also foreign, such as Spain’s Abengoa or Dutch-based DSM. When asked about that, officials from the pro-renewable fuel groups countered that the fuels are grown and produced in the United States.
By Erica Martinson