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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"Some Republicans are running so far away from their party’s nominee that they are threatening to sue TV stations for running ads that suggest they support Donald Trump. Just two weeks before Election Day, five Republicans―Reps. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), David Jolly (R-Fla.), John Katko (R-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican running for an open seat that’s currently occupied by his brother―contend that certain commercials paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee provide false or misleading information by connecting them to the GOP nominee. Trump is so terrible, these Republicans are essentially arguing, that tying them to him amounts to defamation."
Former Illinois GOP Congressman Aaron Schock "recently agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making an excessive solicitation for a super PAC that was active in his home state of Illinois four years ago." Schock resigned from Congress after a story about his Downton Abbey-themed congressional office raised questions about how he was using taxpayer dollars.
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."
On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines threatened to kick U.S. troops out of the country, adding that if he remains president for more than one term he will move to terminate all military deals with America. Last week, Duterte called for a separation between the two countries, though other government officials immediately said he did not mean that literally.