EDF Launches Major Clean Vehicle Ad Campaign for Earth Day

Just two days before Earth Day, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) launched an ad campaign to combat long-running efforts by the fossil fuel industry that undermine clean transportation progress. The campaign includes TV and online ads, social media, and grassroots engagement in Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. The EDF hopes that the campaign can boost the Biden Administration's plans to invest in a massive transition to electric vehicles, including $45 billion to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission transit buses and school buses.

EDF: Stop Paying, Start Charging (15 second version), April 9, 2021.

Why This Matters

As clean vehicles are a key part of both the jobs and climate plans of the Biden administration, the President will highlight this in a virtual tour of an EV battery plant. Transitioning the US to a clean energy and transportation economy is essential to meeting the goals of the Paris agreement and post-pandemic economic recovery. Biden has promised that his $2 trillion infrastructure plan will create millions of jobs and accelerate America's path to a greener, more equitable energy economy. The American Jobs Plan involves investments in the infrastructure for electric vehicles, which dare we say it -- is an existential crisis for the fossil fuel business. And this EDF ad campaign shows that the oil companies know it.

Misleading Ads

"Even as we see some responsible energy companies moving toward a cleaner future, we know the industry's Washington lobbyists have a long and documented history of fighting clean transportation," said Elizabeth Gore, the Senior Vice President of Political Affairs at the EDF. "We need to boost clean electric vehicles not only to help American consumers, but so we don't lose these jobs to Europe and China -- who are set to outcompete us as their governments lean into EV development."

EDF calls the fossil fuel industry’s messaging "often misleading" and says it has hidden behind front groups like the Transportation Fairness Alliance to lobby against clean energy policy. Oil and gas companies also have a track record of exaggerating the taxpayer cost of clean transportation infrastructure. But while infrastructure and utility changes will cost taxpayers just cents per month, the average American spends $175 each month on gasoline. Even so, Americans now distrust oil companies more than ever, giving the EDF and environmentalists much-needed hope.

New Ad Ons

"The oil industry profits by keeping us addicted to the gas pump, so its lobbyists will fight against anything that threatens to break that dependence," said Gore. EDF is combatting this addiction by building on a recent ad campaign that countered claims that wind-power was responsible for outages during the Texas freeze in February 2021. The new additions advocate for investments in clean energy and transportation and call out the oil industry for its effort to thwart green progress. "Oil industry lobbyists are doing their best to kill progress on electric vehicles," says the EDF 15 second ad. "It's their profits versus cleaner air, healthier kids, [and] new jobs." EDF maintains that the US is on the right path, but it must stay the course to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and secure a bright future for Americans. Gore said, "President Biden's plan to move the United States to clean cars, trucks, and buses, will mean healthier communities, cleaner air, a safer climate -- and getting the oil industry's hands off our wallets."

EDF: Stop Paying, Start Charging (30 second version), April 9, 2021.

To Go Deeper

Read these eleven clean vehicle facts countering misinformation from the oil lobby.


Copyright © 2021 Our Daily Planet. Reprinted here with permission. This version may have been edited from the original article published on April 20, 2021.