Jennifer A. Dlouhy, September 17 – Refining industry executives and restaurant owners are set to meet with lawmakers on Wednesday in a bid to convince them to scrap an eight-year-old renewable fuel mandate, despite signs Congress has low appetite for a complete repeal.
Representatives from eight refiners are set to lobby legislators on the issue in a coordinated campaign organized by the American Petroleum Institute. They will be talking to members of the congressional energy committees as well as House and Senate leadership. At the same time, more than two dozen restaurant executives and fast food franchisees will be blanketing Capitol Hill as part of a separate lobbying effort organized by the National Council of Chain Restaurants.
Although the American Petroleum Institute did not name specific participating companies, it said the representatives involved in the D.C. fly in include executives from big and small refiners around the U.S.
“We’re meeting with members of Congress to help them understand the severe economic consequences that could occur unless they take action,” said Bob Greco, downstream group director for the American Petroleum Institute.
Stephen Schatz, a spokesman for the chain restaurants group, said repealing the renewable fuel standard is a top priority because the mandate “artificially inflates commodities prices throughout the supply chain – from the rancher to the restaurant – impacting local businesses, job creation and ultimately consumers and diners.”
The anti-RFS lobbying push comes a week after about 150 ethanol executives made their own plea on the biofuel mandate, imploring lawmakers and federal regulators to preserve the policy.