Happening today: A new coalition is launching to fight efforts by Carl Icahn, the billionaire Trump advisor who has significant investments in the oil and gas sector, and Valero Energy to make a big change in the federal ethanol mandate.
Why it matters: The Main Street Energy Alliance will battle Icahn-backed proposals that would broaden the categories of companies facing compliance obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard. That's the mandate that sets the requirements for growing the amount of ethanol and other biofuels in the nation's gasoline supply.
Icahn and Valero, arguing that they face expensive compliance costs, want the EPA to expand the point of obligation to include companies that blend and retail gasoline. The new coalition wants to keep the current policy intact.
The players: The group has over two dozen members of various sizes ranging from convenience stores and small energy companies to energy giants BP and Shell.
- They include 7-Eleven, the National Association of Convenience Stores, Sheetz, QuikTrip, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, Coleman Oil, and others.
- Their spokesman is Michael Steel of Hamilton Place Strategies, who served as a top aide to former House Speaker John Boehner.
The message: The coalition will make the case that if the EPA makes the change Icahn wants, it will place new burdens on small businesses, decrease the use of biofuels, and might raise consumer costs.