Beginning today, a group led by mid-sized oil refiners is running ads on Fox & Friends — a show the president is known to watch — that knock the administration for backing off changes to the national biofuels mandate called the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Why it matters: The bluntly worded, weeklong Fox ad campaign aimed right at President Trump's eyeballs signals the intensity of the fight over the RFS, a topic that pits the biofuels industry and midwestern lawmakers against the oil industry and its Capitol Hill allies.

In their words: "Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to drain the swamp, protect our manufacturing jobs, and restore American energy dominance. That's why we elected him. But President Trump is caving to ethanol lobbyists, raising costs on American refiners to appease foreign biodiesel special interests, and jeopardizing U.S. energy independence," the ad states.

Who they are: The coalition includes Valero Energy, Monroe Energy (which is owned by Delta Airlines), PBF Energy and other members. The group says the cost of meeting the RFS — especially purchasing compliance credits known as renewable identification numbers — threatens medium-sized refiners and their workers.

Go deeper: The RFS, created by a 2005 law and expanded in a 2007 statute, requires growing amounts of biofuels in nation's transportation fuel mix. Amy's column last week takes a closer look.

Go deeper

20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.