These are trying times for the ethanol industry, which is locked in a political battle against oil companies and recently got some bad news from the Environmental Protection Agency.
But the head of a major industry trade group, the Renewable Fuels Association, is finding inspiration in rock legends Led Zeppelin and a cover band that performs the songs of the iconic group. Here’s RFA President Bob Dinneen on Tuesday using the band’s song titles to send a message to the oil industry:
“Much like the titles of legendary Led Zeppelin songs, there will always be ‘Good Times, Bad Times,’ but no matter what, the Renewable Fuels Association will continue to ‘Ramble On’ fighting for consumer choice and access to low-cost, renewable fuel. Big Oil’s attempts to thwart our efforts to increase America’s energy independence and send us ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ leaves me ‘Sick Again,’ and at times it feels like we are being ‘Trampled Underfoot’ by the petroleum industry. But mark my words, big oil, ‘Your Time Is Gonna Come,’ because the value-added benefits of ethanol are paving the ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ ‘The Song Remains the Same’: Don’t mess with the RFS!”
The “RFS” he mentioned after “The Song Remains the Same” is the renewable-fuel standard, the ethanol-industry-backed federal mandate that requires growing amounts of biofuels to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.
EPA, in November, proposed lowering the year-over-year biofuels blending level for the first time, a defeat for the ethanol industry that relies on the federally mandated market for its product.
And oil companies are pushing lawmakers to dismantle the RFS completely, calling it unworkable.
The ethanol-industry trade group is wielding lobbyists in addition to Led Zeppelin song titles to parry attacks on the RFS and respond to EPA’s draft decision. The Renewable Fuels Association’s recently filed fourth-quarter 2013 lobbying report is here.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."