Klobuchar, Grassley request oil company investigation

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2013- The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced their support of Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, for their request to the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to investigate possible anticompetitive practices by oil companies regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

In their letter, the senators called on the Justice Department and FTC to investigate practices by oil companies that they claim might limit consumers' access to biofuels, including ethanol

"NCGA firmly supports efforts to ensure that Americans have options at the fuel pump," said NCGA President Pam Johnson. "America's farmers work diligently to provide renewable, environmentally responsible biofuels, and we applaud the efforts of Senators Klobuchar and Grassley to help ensure that consumers can choose to use those government approved fuel options."

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Klobuchar and Grassley asked the Administration to take action to address recent reports indicating that oil companies may be requesting reductions in ethanol gasoline blends.

NCGA said that in some cases, franchise agreements have been changed in order to force gas stations to remove E85 and E15.

“We have heard allegations that the oil industry is mandating retailers to carry and sell premium gasoline, thereby blocking the use of the current retail infrastructure to sell renewable fuels,” the senators wrote. “Station owners who wish to sell renewable fuel would bear the cost and logistical burden of having to install additional infrastructure to do so.”

Klobuchar and Grassley suggested the actions may be violations of the Sherman Act and Gasohol Competition Act of 1980.

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