Tricia Braid

Apr 20, 2015  |  Today's News

Illinois Corn Growers Association has partnered with many organizations in the effort to pass the Chicago E15 ordinance that would make E15 available as a choice for consumers at an estimated 200 gas stations in Chicago. One of those partners, Americans United for Change, released a media blitz today that takes a swipe at Big Oil and their poor history of protecting the environment. Today is the 5th anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill in the Gulf and tomorrow is Earth Day. Click here to watch the TV ad.

As today marks the fifth anniversary of the deadly, 87-day long, 200-million gallon BP oil spill, Americans United for Change is up with a hard-hitting TV ad in Chicago, IL condemning the oil industry’s proneness to disaster that seems to have only gotten worse the past five years. While BP airs their own ads congratulating themselves for their cleanup efforts despite the lingering economic and environmental fallout in the Gulf region, AUFC is kicking off Earth Day week with a message that the Deepwater Horizon disaster was only a drop in the bucket for an industry responsible for 14,000 oil spills every year.

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change, an environmental advocacy group that launched a campaign in support of the RFS in 2013: “It comes down to this: the more Big Oil drills, the more they spill. If lawmakers discourage innovation towards cleaner renewable fuels of tomorrow, Big Oil will only be encouraged to drill, and spill, more. Over the last five years, ethanol has made up 10 percent of our nation's fuel supply, and the ethanol produced last year displaced over 500 million barrels of crude oil that would’ve otherwise been used to make gasoline. When consumers have more choice of cleaner, cheaper and safer renewable fuels like ethanol at the pump, it means less demand for gasoline made from dirty oil. It’s like preventative medicine for the environment. But if our leaders take steps backward towards more dirty oil consumption - by gutting the RFS or denying consumers cleaner choices - it would lead to even more accidents and spills resulting from fossil fuel extraction and transportation. Haven’t we been polluted enough? 5 years and 70,000 spills later, the BP disaster anniversary should serve as a sobering reminder to our leaders that our nation’s dependence on oil takes a terrible toll on the Earth and its inhabitants.  It’s a reminder why we can’t turn our back on renewable fuels that have been a win-win-win for the environment, for public safety, and the economy.”


The spot called “Rare Incidents” features American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard’s outrageous 2011 comments downplaying the BP disaster as “clearly a rare incident”. What follows is a montage of depressing images from a sampling of the thousands of oil-industry spills and refinery explosions that have occurred in the five years since.  The Chicago spot is aimed at local leaders who are considering a “E15 Clean Air Ordinance” to reduce oil pollution and carcinogens in the air by ensuring E15 ethanol blend is an available option for consumers at all Chicago retail stations, while still having the option to buy the gas they’ve been buying; it concludes: “70,000 “Rare Incidents” Later It’s Time For Chicago Leaders To Give Driver’s A Cleaner Choice: E15”.  In addition, AUFC is running a  full page ad  in the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday echoing the call to action.  


The six-figure effort kicks off an aggressive and ongoing campaign around a new website,, which is a clearing house for the latest local news and reports on oil industry-related disasters in Americans’ own backyards, as well as provocative new web videos and ads from AUFC.