Ethanol industry to meet with Bush off the record |

Ethanol industry to meet with Bush off the record

HOUSTON — Registered attendees at the National Ethanol Conference here will meet with former President George W. Bush early today in a session that the program says is “closed to the media. No photography, recording, note-taking or social media use by the audience is allowed.“

The Bush event was the talk of the opening reception at the Marriott Marquis Hotel Monday night, with speculation rampant about how much the Renewable Fuels Association, the sponsor of the conference, is paying the former president.

A source close to the RFA said that 50 people would have their pictures taken with Bush and that a photo with Bush was auctioned at the RFA political action committee reception for $1,800.

The event is titled ”A Special Conversation with President George W. Bush — The Challenges Facing our Nation in the 21st Century and the Power of Freedom.”

But attendees were wondering if Bush, who signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that changed and broadened the rules of the Renewable Fuel Standard, will talk about President Donald Trump’s management of the RFS, which the industry has criticized.

At the reception there was an open bar, but the featured beers were from Karbach, a Houston brewery with German roots that is now owned by Anheuser-Busch Bev.

One of the featured beers was Crawford Bock, which the company bills as a “ballpark beer” that “pairs perfectly with peanuts, stadium dogs, and a good 7th inning stretch.”

Although Bush has his ranch at Crawford, Texas, the beer seems to be named after the Crawford Boxes, a section of seating in Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. Fans hope to catch a fly ball from the seats, which run parallel to Crawford Street in downtown Houston.

A portion of the beer’s sales goes to the team’s charitable arm, the Astros Foundation.

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