Growth Energy Panel: Navigating Policy in an Election Year

Phoenix, AZ – Navigating Congress and the political landscape during an election year was the focus of a bipartisan roundtable discussion at Growth Energy’s Executive Leadership Conference, featuring Karen Hughes, a former advisor to President George W. Bush, and Josh Gottheimer, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton.

The discussion focused on political realities that the ethanol industry faces as Congress and the Administration struggle with a weak economy and a stalled legislative agenda. Other participants included former Rep. Jim Nussle, who after leaving Congress served as Budget Director for the Bush White House, and Melissa Shannon, formerly a legislative advisor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“It will be difficult in this election year to get comprehensive energy legislation but the people in this room have the ability to create American jobs that cannot be outsourced and that’s a powerful message,” Hughes said.

“Congress is under a lot of pressure from both sides when it comes to moving the blend wall to E15,” Shannon said. “But we have seen good signals coming from EPA and Secretary Vilsack and we need to be vigilant in our efforts and rely on our allies in Congress to help ensure EPA does the right thing.”

“This panel demonstrates what the pathway forward is to accomplish our priorities. Things in Washington are not clear: it’s a partisan and highly-charged atmosphere. We have to work in a smart, bipartisan manner to move our agenda forward,” Buis said.

About Growth Energy Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth Energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at