What’s Uniting Conservatives, Pizza Hut, and Clean-Air Advocates?

Corn ethanol mandates are an area of dispute over the Renewable Fuel Standard.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Jan. 27, 2014, 8:38 a.m.

An anti-eth­an­ol co­ali­tion that spans con­ser­vat­ives, Pizza Hut fran­chises, and clean-air ad­voc­ates is press­ing House law­makers to pare back the na­tion­al bio­fuels man­date bey­ond what the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency has pro­posed.

A let­ter to seni­or House law­makers Monday brings to­geth­er over 30 ad­vocacy groups and in­dustry in­terests such as the Com­pet­it­ive En­ter­prise In­sti­tute, sev­er­al gro­cery and meat in­dustry groups, and the Clean Air Task Force.

The EPA floated a draft plan in Novem­ber that cuts the amount of eth­an­ol and oth­er bio­fuels that must be blen­ded in­to the na­tion’s mo­tor-fuel sup­ply in 2014. The pro­pos­al was a de­feat for the eth­an­ol in­dustry and its Cap­it­ol Hill al­lies, who are now wa­ging a cam­paign to re­verse the EPA plan.

But the new let­ter to the House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee’s bi­par­tis­an lead­er­ship from eth­an­ol crit­ics, led by the Na­tion­al Coun­cil of Chain Res­taur­ants, says that EPA didn’t go far enough in re­strict­ing the “un­work­able” eth­an­ol man­date.

It says only Con­gress has the power to make big changes to the bio­fuels blend­ing man­date that’s known as the re­new­able-fuel stand­ard.

“[T]he pro­posed [EPA] re­duc­tion is small in per­cent­age terms and would do little to de­crease pres­sure on corn de­mand or lower eth­an­ol’s share of U.S. an­nu­al corn pro­duc­tion,” the groups state.

“At these volumes corn eth­an­ol will con­tin­ue to provide per­verse in­cent­ives to over­plant corn, dis­tort com­mod­ity and en­ergy mar­kets, and wreak eco­nom­ic and en­vir­on­ment­al hav­oc,” states the let­ter signed by groups such as the Amer­ic­an Frozen Food In­sti­tute, the Na­tion­al Gro­cers As­so­ci­ation, the Na­tion­al Mar­ine Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­ation, Tax­pay­ers for Com­mon Sense, the In­ter­na­tion­al Pizza Hut Fran­chise Hold­ers As­so­ci­ation, and the Na­tion­al Tur­key Fed­er­a­tion.

What We're Following See More »
THE QUESTION
How Many VIPs Were the Secret Service Protecting in Philly Last Night?
44 minutes ago
THE ANSWER

Seven, according to an official Secret Service tweet.

Source:
‘MOGUL,’ ‘DAREDEVIL’
Candidates’ Code Names Revealed
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Clintons will retain their Secret Service "code names from the last time they lived in the White House. Hillary Clinton is EVERGREEN and Bill ClintonEAGLE. Donald Trump is MOGUL, according to reports, and Melania Trump MUSE. The vice presidents get code names, too: Mike Pence is HOOSIER—a little on the nose—and his wife HUMMINGBIRD. Tim Kaine is DAREDEVIL, somewhat ambitiously. His wife's? To be determined."

Source:
MOST AGENCIES HAD ALREADY ALLOWED
GSA: Feds’ Uber Rides Are Now OK
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Obama administration issued guidance on Wednesday clarifying federal agencies should reimburse employees who use ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft for any travel on official business, effective immediately. The General Services Administration issued a bulletin on the Federal Travel Regulation, cementing a policy many—but not all—agencies had already installed."

Source:
SHIFT FROM ROMNEY’S NUMBERS
Catholics, Highly Educated Moving Toward Dems
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Catholics who attend mass at least weekly have increased their support of the Democratic nominee by 22 points, relative to 2012, when devout Catholics backed Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, a Morning Consult poll shows that those voters with advanced degrees prefer Hillary Clinton, 51%-34%. Which, we suppose, makes the ideal Clinton voter a Catholic with a PhD in divinity.

‘CROSSED THE RED LINE’
North Korea: U.S. Has Effectively Declared War
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"North Korea's top diplomat for U.S. affairs told The Associated Press on Thursday that Washington ... effectively declared war by putting leader Kim Jong Un on its list of sanctioned individuals, and said a vicious showdown could erupt if the U.S. and South Korea hold annual war games as planned next month." Han Song Ryol said: "The United States has crossed the red line in our showdown. We regard this thrice-cursed crime as a declaration of war."

Source:
×