Nonpartisan group reviews biofuel lobbying

By Susanne Retka Schill | July 14, 2008
Web exclusive posted July 29, 2008 at 4:18 p.m. CST

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, corn and soybean farmers have spent $2.3 million on lobbying since 2007 in order to get their messages through to the U.S. Congress.

A comprehensive review of biofuels lobbying, titled "Power Struggle: Division Within Biofuels Community Complicates the Energy Equation" and written by Luke Rosiak, was published July 24 in the center's Capital Eye newsletter on its Web site.

The nonprofit organization compiles information provided by lobbyists to the federal government on their lobbying expenditures and periodically reviews different industries.

In the article, Rosiak covers a number of the players with interests in various issues, and the individuals and lobbying efforts involved. Corn ethanol and sugar policies are discussed, along with the controversy over the definition of renewable diesel and efforts to protect biofuels subsidies and tax credits.

In the presidential campaign, the article reports, presumptive Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona, has said he would eliminate the tariff on Brazilian ethanol as well as subsidies for American corn ethanol. Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois would do neither, but emphasizes development of cellulosic technology. Rosiak reveals that Obama has received $76,000 from corn, soybean, sugar and alternative energy producers, compared to $17,300 for McCain.

Rosiak's article is part of a series in the Capital Eye Reports that is pulling research conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics to investigate the interests driving the energy debate on Capitol Hill. To read those reports visit:
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