Dennis Hastert, the Republican former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois, and former Representative Albert Wynn (D-Md.) have signed up with some of their Dickstein Shapiro colleagues to fight for an ethanol company's interests in Washington.
The former congressmen, who are senior advisers at Dickstein, are helping Dayton, Ohio-based REX American Resources Corp. educate members of Congress and the Obama administration about the "benefits of the renewable fuel standard," according to lobbying registration paperwork filed with Congress on Thursday. The standard mandates the blending of 36 billion gallons of biofuel with customary fuel by 2022. Under the program, about 9 percent of all fuel used this year is slated to come from renewable sources, including corn.
Calls to the offices of Hastert and Wynn were directed to Dickstein spokeswoman Sarah Misailidis, who wasn't immediately reached for comment. Dickstein partner Robert Mangas and legislative specialist Allison Schwartz, who also are handling the account, as well as REX Chief Financial Officer Doug Bruggeman, weren't immediately reached, either.
A bipartisan group of more than 100 House members is pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lower the standard in an effort to bring some financial relief to food producers and agriculture industry members who use corn to feed their animals. They signed an August 1 letter that called on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to provide a "fair and meaningful nationwide adjustment" to the standard. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), a lead signatory, last year introduced legislation that would scrap the entire renewable fuel standard program.
Dickstein is the first firm to lobby for REX, according to congressional records that date back to 1999.