Steve McQueen’s Porsche 917 from “Le Mans” sells for $14 million

Porsche 917 from To a fair number of folks, the film Le Mans remains one of the greatest pieces of cinema focusing on the world of motorsport. The star of that film is not Steve McQueen, but rather the Porsche 917K that takes home the checkered flag. As is the case with most films, a number of cars were used to capture all of the footage required. One of those...
Posted in Uncategorized |

Report: Valero Leading Secret Campaign To Block Biofuel Blends

The nation’s largest oil refiner has taken on a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to rid refiners of costly federal biofuel blend rules, according to a Reuters investigative piece published today.

Valero Energy Corp. is making the case for transferring the “point of obligation” responsibility for biofuels blending that puts about 10 percent ethanol into gasoline sold in U.S. gas stations. The obligation should be moved over from oil refiners to gasoline retailers and shippers such as FedEx, according to two former Valero executives who spoke to Reuters.

Valero and other oil refiners have taken a costly hit in recent years as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enforces the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) mandating the biofuel blend. The company was forced to spend about $750 million last year buying RFS credits, according to Valero’s securities filings.

RFS was passed as federal legislation and signed by former President George W. Bush in 2005 as a way to support U.S. energy independence, reduce air pollution, and support corn formers supplying the ethanol. The law mandates that oil refiners either blend biofuels into the gasoline they’re producing or to buy credits from companies that are doing the biofuels blending.

The Trump administration is considering making the point of obligation changes, but it has not yet made a formal decision on it.

Reuters reported that Valero has been assembling a coalition of supporters that includes billionaire Carl Icahn, who owns refiner CVR Energy and served as an advisor to the Trump administration on business regulation.

Icahn resigned from this special advisor position on Friday after taking heavy criticism that he had conflict of interests while playing this role.

“I never sought any special benefit for any company with which I have been involved, and have only expressed views that I believed would benefit the refining industry as a whole,” Icahn wrote in a letter to Trump on Friday.

The former Valero executives said that the company worked with Icahn last August to write a letter to EPA pushing for policy change. The letter said the rules create a “rigged market” unfair to oil refiners.

Icahn became a special advisor soon after Trump was elected. The White House said it didn’t see any conflict of interest in the role Icahn was playing since he wasn’t a paid presidential advisor.

According to the report, Icahn has been joined in talks supporting Valero’s efforts by a new gas station owners’ trade group and a former Obama administration environmental advisor.

Renewable Fuels Association, a biofuels industry trade group, is said to have dropped its opposition to policy changes that the coalition is working toward. RFA and other biofuels groups had been engaged in heated battle with oil companies and oil refiners for several years over the federal rule.

The investigative piece sees Valero as forging a campaign to have one or more of the backers take a visible role pushing for changes in the federal policy. The idea would be to create the perception of broad support for making this change, while Valera and a small group of oil refiners would stay in the background.

“There was an effort to line up people who would support us who were more palatable to decision makers. It’s easier to support a small business than a big refining company,” said one of the former Valero executives.

SEE ALSO:  Lux Report Says Big Oil’s Dominance May Be Coming To An End

Valero and other companies haven’t confirmed the clandestine lobbying efforts have been taking place.

Valero spokeswoman Lillian Riojas did take a position on the federal regulations, calling the rules harmful to “workers, small business retailers, consumers, the refining base, energy security and even the drive for more biofuels blending.”

Opponents to RFS have included Valero, oil companies, and a few automaker and environmental groups. Their arguments have been that the biofuel blend does little to reduce foreign oil imports as domestic oil production has been booming; that it can hurt gasoline engines and fuel systems along with mileage; and it does little to help the environment.

Reuters

The post Report: Valero Leading Secret Campaign To Block Biofuel Blends appeared first on HybridCars.com.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Report: Valero Leading Secret Campaign To Block Biofuel Blends

The nation’s largest oil refiner has taken on a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to rid refiners of costly federal biofuel blend rules, according to a Reuters investigative piece published today.

Valero Energy Corp. is making the case for transferring the “point of obligation” responsibility for biofuels blending that puts about 10 percent ethanol into gasoline sold in U.S. gas stations. The obligation should be moved over from oil refiners to gasoline retailers and shippers such as FedEx, according to two former Valero executives who spoke to Reuters.

Valero and other oil refiners have taken a costly hit in recent years as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enforces the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) mandating the biofuel blend. The company was forced to spend about $750 million last year buying RFS credits, according to Valero’s securities filings.

RFS was passed as federal legislation and signed by former President George W. Bush in 2005 as a way to support U.S. energy independence, reduce air pollution, and support corn formers supplying the ethanol. The law mandates that oil refiners either blend biofuels into the gasoline they’re producing or to buy credits from companies that are doing the biofuels blending.

The Trump administration is considering making the point of obligation changes, but it has not yet made a formal decision on it.

Reuters reported that Valero has been assembling a coalition of supporters that includes billionaire Carl Icahn, who owns refiner CVR Energy and served as an advisor to the Trump administration on business regulation.

Icahn resigned from this special advisor position on Friday after taking heavy criticism that he had conflict of interests while playing this role.

“I never sought any special benefit for any company with which I have been involved, and have only expressed views that I believed would benefit the refining industry as a whole,” Icahn wrote in a letter to Trump on Friday.

The former Valero executives said that the company worked with Icahn last August to write a letter to EPA pushing for policy change. The letter said the rules create a “rigged market” unfair to oil refiners.

Icahn became a special advisor soon after Trump was elected. The White House said it didn’t see any conflict of interest in the role Icahn was playing since he wasn’t a paid presidential advisor.

According to the report, Icahn has been joined in talks supporting Valero’s efforts by a new gas station owners’ trade group and a former Obama administration environmental advisor.

Renewable Fuels Association, a biofuels industry trade group, is said to have dropped its opposition to policy changes that the coalition is working toward. RFA and other biofuels groups had been engaged in heated battle with oil companies and oil refiners for several years over the federal rule.

The investigative piece sees Valero as forging a campaign to have one or more of the backers take a visible role pushing for changes in the federal policy. The idea would be to create the perception of broad support for making this change, while Valera and a small group of oil refiners would stay in the background.

“There was an effort to line up people who would support us who were more palatable to decision makers. It’s easier to support a small business than a big refining company,” said one of the former Valero executives.

SEE ALSO:  Lux Report Says Big Oil’s Dominance May Be Coming To An End

Valero and other companies haven’t confirmed the clandestine lobbying efforts have been taking place.

Valero spokeswoman Lillian Riojas did take a position on the federal regulations, calling the rules harmful to “workers, small business retailers, consumers, the refining base, energy security and even the drive for more biofuels blending.”

Opponents to RFS have included Valero, oil companies, and a few automaker and environmental groups. Their arguments have been that the biofuel blend does little to reduce foreign oil imports as domestic oil production has been booming; that it can hurt gasoline engines and fuel systems along with mileage; and it does little to help the environment.

Reuters

The post Report: Valero Leading Secret Campaign To Block Biofuel Blends appeared first on HybridCars.com.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Meet the New Benchmark: the 2018 BMW M5

While Americans were staring into the sun, BMW unveiled a new generation of one of their brightest stars: the M5. The sixth-generation M5 is pretty much all new from the ground up and it takes the benchmark of performance sedans to new heights with some brand new tech, more power, ...
Posted in Uncategorized |

1960s American Dream Cars wow crowds at tony Pebble Beach Concours

1960 DeDia 150 'Bobby Darin' Coupe, 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'EleganceThey just don't make dream cars like they used to. And the crowds thronging a special display class at Sunday's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance attested to the popularity of outrageous, over-the-top fantasies of what cars could look like half a century ago. Called "American Dream Cars of the 1960s," the group of 10 ranged from a Thirties-inspired...
Posted in Uncategorized |

Report: China’s Great Wall wants to acquire Jeep

2017 Jeep New Compass TrailhawkA Chinese automaker named after the country's most iconic structure says it wants to own the most quintessentially American of automakers: Jeep. One week ago, a report claimed an unnamed Chinese automaker had placed a bid to buyout Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, a move that would fulfill CEO Sergio Marchionne's dream of merging with another automaker...
Posted in Uncategorized |

All of the wheels, all of the power; meet the new 2018 BMW M5

2018 BMW M5Perhaps you've heard rumors that the new BMW M5 would be all-wheel drive. Or whispers that it would be more complicated than grad-level calculus. Or even hints that it may lack a third pedal for the first time in more than three decades. BMW on Monday confirmed all of the above. But there's more. Oh, so much more. DON'T MISS: BMW details the 2018...
Posted in Uncategorized |