10/09/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

We Beat MegaOilron

By our best guesstimates over the last year, MegaOilron has spent
around a billion dollars on a propaganda campaign coordinated by the
American Petroleum Institute, to convince the public that ethanol is
bad for America. At the core of this campaign has been the blatantly
false "Food vs. Fuel" Myth. This billion-dollar media campaign (which
amounted to less than one percent of Big Oil's annual profits last
year) has sought to persuade everyone that ethanol production is
jacking up food prices and starving our poor.

The API myth peaked a couple of months ago and had begun to fall apart
as expert after expert around the world debunked the fabricated moral
argument against alcohol. MegaOilron decided to act to try to
capitalize on its powerful propaganda by having Texas governor "Oil
Patch" Perry use his office to request an EPA waiver that would have
virtually eliminated the congressional mandate to add renewable fuel
to gasoline.

News came recently that the EPA denied MegaOilron's mouthpiece his
petition to demolish the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Congratulations, you readers. You get some of the credit for making
this happen!

It was a close battle. Governor Perry had Big Oil's full backing, as
well as huge funding from beef and poultry-industry collaborators.
Perry received $100,000 in campaign funds right after submitting the
waiver request, and the Poultry Association swept him off to
Washington (via a $9,000 private jet ride) to lie--I mean testify--to
the EPA that ethanol is hurting the nation's economy and driving up
the price of food.

What did our side have? The Alcoholics Unanimous Farmy, our group of
affiliate writers who go out and counter anti-alcohol propaganda, ...
and the truth.

The EPA received 15,000 letters from people concerning the issue, and
I figure a lot of them were the result of you folks propagating my
piece called I Told You So all over the Web and the forums you weighed
in on. It reminded everyone that the Renewable Fuels Standard took
over for the Clean Air Act provisions that called for ethanol to be
added to gasoline to reduce the toxicity of gasoline emissions. It
just wasn't a discretionary action to reduce the alcohol in our fuel
supply and cause emphysema, lung damage, and reduced oxygen to urban
kids brains, while dramatically damaging the American rural economy,
just so the oil companies could keep control of the fuel market.

When Ol' Oil Patch, saw the tide was going against him, he even had
the EPA illegally delay its decision date (without reopening the
public comment period), while the oil companies tried to pile on
pressure to roll back the congressional renewable fuel mandate. But in
the face of public scrutiny, they couldn't get away with a backroom
deal to cripple the alcohol industry and subvert the will of Congress.

As I outline in Alcohol Can Be a Gas!, MegaOilron's primary strategy
is to delay the buildup of the farmer and small business alcohol fuel
movement in order to precipitate an energy shortage and crisis. These
entrepreneurs are poised to take up the slack as oil production
dwindles, by making $60 a barrel alcohol fuel. It makes it pretty
hard to convince the public that its going to want or need $175/barrel
oil shale, tar sands or coal based gasoline. The only way MegaOilron
can get the public to buy their expensive, foul, planet-destroying
toxic fuel is to get our backs against the wall and convince of us
TINA (There Is No Alternative.)

Rolling back the Renewable Fuel Standard was a key part of that
strategy, and you helped foil them. Pat yourselves on the back for
dealing Big Oil a serious setback.