Two ethanol groups have signed contracts with the lobbying firm Heather Podesta + Partners amid a growing fight over the future of the federal ethanol mandate.
Growth Partners, an industry group, and POET, a leading ethanol producer, filed lobbying paperwork this week detailing contracts with Podesta’s firm.
A Growth Partners spokesman said the advocacy will focus on “protecting” the Renewable Fuel Standard, pushing to waive usage limits on certain ethanol blends and shaping tax reform measures in Congress this year. A POET official said the lobbying shop would focus on the RFS and tax reform for the company.
The new contracts come amid a growing fight over the future of the RFS, the federal mandate requiring ethanol to be blended into gasoline supplies.
Both Growth Energy and POET have opposed a proposal, crafted by the Trump administration, to shift the task of complying with the mandate to a new segment of the fuel production line.
That proposal was first floated by Carl Icahn, a billionaire refinery investor, and won buy-in from the Renewable Fuels Association, another industry group.
After the deal was reported, Growth Energy “denounced” the plan, calling it “illegitimate.” POET’s top spokesman wrote an op-ed in The Hill in February opposing the proposal.
Lobbyist Heather Podesta is a prominent figure in Democratic circles and supported Hillary Clinton ’s presidential campaign last year. Her firm has worked to hire Republicans in recent years, and it’s former partner recently departed for a position in the White House.
— This post was updated at 1:33 p.m.