In RFS battle, Valero boosts lobby team

Source: Kevin Bogardus, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 30, 2017

Valero Energy Corp. has added to its K Street roster.

The giant independent petroleum refiner has hired Daryl Owen Associates Inc. to lobby on several issues, including the renewable fuel standard, according to disclosure records released by the Senate this week.

At the firm, Daryl Owen, a former chief of staff to former Sen. Bennett Johnston (D-La.) and staff director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is lobbying for the company. So is Adam Ingols, once a George W. Bush White House aide and Department of Energy chief of staff.

The lobby firm’s registration document shows it has been working on behalf of Valero since March 10. Valero has boosted its lobbying presence recently, having hired Crossroads Strategies LLC in September last year.

The company has several other firms working on its behalf, such as Bracewell LLP and Lincoln Policy Group. Valero spent $1.53 million on lobbying last year, records show.

Valero prompted a lobbying battle on the RFS by pushing for a change in the so-called point of obligation for blending ethanol into gasoline.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, also an adviser to President Trump, has pushed the White House to agree to that change, prompting an outcry from Senate Democrats who say Icahn stands to benefit (E&E Daily, March 28).