Big Oil has squared off against Big Agriculture in the dispute over the federal mandate to mix corn- based ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply. Both sides are powerful and self-interested, but Big Oil has the edge in this case for being right.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Senator Michael Lee, a Utah Republican, introduced legislation to protect businesses and innovators who are targeted by so-called patent trolls.
The Obama administration proposed a cut in the amount of renewable fuels that refiners must blend with gasoline next year, bowing to oil industry complaints that the targets contained in 2007 legislation were too high.
For months, lobbyists for refiners such as Valero Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. have warned that a U.S. law requiring increased use of ethanol would result in a mandate to add more of the fuel than they could safely blend into gasoline.